Know about Supertech Twin Towers Noida demolition

In what is now seen as one of the biggest victories for homeowners, the Supertech Twin Towers in Noida Sector 93 A, have been grounded to dust. What went in were close to four tonnes of explosives and an almost decade long battle by owners’ association. Read on to know the ‘when, how and why’ of the Supertech Twin Towers row that finally met its fate on August 28, 2022.

Located in Noida Sector 93A, the Supertech Twin Towers were finally demolished in a nail-biting sequence of events on August 28. The demolition was carried out by Edifice Engineering, and over 3,500 kg of explosives were used to raze the structures. Over 5,000 people from Emerald Court and the adjoining ATS Village societies were evacuated early morning. informations details the demolition along with a recap of what brought down the project.

After about nine years of relentless efforts by the Residents Welfare Association (RWA) of the Supertech Emerald Court, the Supreme Court (SC), in August 2021, ordered the demolition of the two illegally constructed structures- Apex and Ceyane. Further, it also awarded a refund with interest compounded at 12 percent annually to homebuyers.

How did the demolition happen?

The towers together captured an estimated built-up area of around 7.5 lakh sq ft. Post the approval by SC’s technical expert, the demolition happened through the charging of the structures first. The blast took place on August 28, 2022, at around 2:30 PM. An estimated 3,700 kg of explosives had been inserted in over 9,000 holes in the structures. The explosives were sourced from Palwal in Haryana and contained a mix of dynamite, emulsions and plastic elements. A waterfall implosion ensured that the structures fall inward. To contain the balloon of dust, the buildings were covered with black and white geotextile fibre. Around 1,400 residents living in the area had been evacuated, and movement on the Noida-Greater Noida Expressway near the site was restricted for about 30 minutes.

While the blast lasted about 10 seconds, the debris-removal process may take up to three months. Post the demolition, close to 35,000 cubic m of rubble has been created, of which almost 7,000 cubic m of debris is expected to accumulate in the basement of the Twin Towers.

What is on the cards for homebuyers of Supertech Twin Towers?

April 2022 brought concerning news for Supertech homebuyers as the real estate firm declared bankruptcy against the Union Bank of India’s plea for pending dues of Rs 432 crore. The firm filed an appeal to the National Company Law Tribunal (NCLT). While the dues were related to another Supertech project, the Twin Towers project homebuyers were immediately left in the lurch.

The developer stated that of the 711 homebuyers, it had refunded 652 buyers already. The remaining 59 could not be settled due to issues with the documentation process. However, the apex court reiterated its stand and asked the pending homebuyers to file their claims by April 15, 2022. The SC maintained that the homebuyers interests would be protected.

The background of the case

Sanctions from the Noida Authority

November 2004: The New Okhla Industrial Development Area Authority (Noida Authority) approved a plot for the construction of a group housing society.

June 2005: Under the New Okhla Industrial Development Area Building Regulations and Directions, 1986 (NBR 1986), a building plan constituting the construction of 14 towers was sanctioned.

June 2006: A year later, the authority sanctioned a supplementary lease and provided additional land to the builder keeping all the conditions of the original lease intact.

December 2006: The builder revised the original building plan.

November 2009: While the approval of the revised plan from the authority came in March 2012, the construction started in November 2009. Here are the construction updates-

  • Towers 15, 16 and a shopping complex were added to the project
  • Tower 16 was initially supposed to have one building of ground floor plus 11 floors, and three buildings of ground floor plus four floors, with a maximum height of 37 m each
  • Tower 17 was soon added, and the height of both Towers 16 and 17 was raised to 73 m, comprising 24 floors each
  • Tower 17 was constructed nine m away from Tower 1 while the distance between two structures should not be less than half the height of the tallest building as per NBR 2006. Also, the two structures were to be connected with a frame at the upper level
  • Lastly, the floors in Towers 16 and 17 were revised to 40, with a height of 121 m each

Objections by the Supertech Emerald Court RWA

2006: The Supertech Emerald Court RWA, led by Uday Bhan Singh Teotia and SK Sharma, Ravi Bajaj and MK Jain, noticed that the developer had started altering the building plans in 2006.

2009: While the authority sanctioned the final plan of 40-floor twin structures in 2012, construction of the same began in 2009.

2012: The RWA reached out to the builder and the authority, but no action was taken. Finally, they moved to the Allahabad High Court in March 2012. They challenged the construction of Towers 16 and 17 in a writ petition demanding their demolition and disapproval of the connectors between the towers.

The RWA claimed that the building plans underwent frequent changes, thereby violating building laws, fire norms, and minimum distance between structures, among other points under the Uttar Pradesh Apartments Act, 2010.

2014: In April, the Allahabad High Court granted demolition orders of Towers 16 and 17. The court also ordered prosecution against the authority officials at fault under Section 49 of the UP Urban Development Act, 1973.

Further, the court ordered Supertech to refund the amount received from homebuyers of Towers 16 and 17 at 14 percent interest compounded annually.

The intervention of the Supreme Court

May 2014: Supertech Builders filed a Special Leave Petition before the Supreme Court (SC) challenging the orders of the Allahabad High Court.

August 2021: The apex court upheld the verdict of the Allahabad High Court in a 140-page order headed by Justices DY Chandrachud and MR Shah.

The Court stated that the sanctions given by the authority on November 26, 2009, and March 2, 2012, for the construction of Towers 16 and 17, were in direct violation of the National Building Code (NBC) 2005, NBR 2006 and NBR 2010. The minimum distance required between structures was not adhered to.

As the construction of the two towers reduced the common area for the residents, the developer should have sought their permission before founding the towers. The apex court also found the development authority complicit in the illegal plans of the builder.

Hence, the SC ordered Supertech to refund the flat buyers at an annual interest of 12 percent. It also ordered the guilty to carry out the demolition and pay Rs 2 crore to the Supertech Emerald Court RWA.

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