NEW DELHI (AP) — Two high-rise apartment towers in India fell to the ground Sunday in a controlled demolition after the country’s top court declared them illegal for violating building codes. They became the tallest buildings in India to be demolished.
More than 1,500 families evacuated their apartments in the area more than seven hours before the nearly 100-metre (328 ft) tall towers were blown inwards by the blast. The 32- and 29-story towers being built by a private developer in Noida, a suburb of New Delhi, were not yet occupied.
“Basically, everything is fine,” government administrator Ritu Maheshwari said after the demolition. “It was as expected”
The demolition was completed in seconds, but followed a 12-year court battle between residents in the area and developer Supertech Limited.
The demolition of the towers came after the Supreme Court found that the developer had colluded with state officials to violate laws that prohibit construction within a certain distance from nearby buildings.
The Supreme Court said that the construction of the two towers was also illegal because the developer did not obtain mandatory consent from other flat owners in the area.
According to the authorities, before the demolition, the towers were surrounded by scaffolding, fences, barricades and special covers to prevent the resulting dust. It will take three months to dispose of all the garbage.
Residents are expected to return to the area on Sunday evening after experts survey the impact of the collapse. Some apartments are only nine meters (29.5 ft) from the blast site, and the required safe distance is 20 meters (65.6 ft).
“It will be among the top five demolitions in the world in terms of height, volume, steel and structural strength,” said Utkarsh Mehta, a partner at Edifice Engineering, which is demolishing the building along with South Africa’s Jet Demolition. 180 million rupees ($2.25 million).
Mehta said 3,500 kilograms (7,716 pounds) of explosives had been drilled into thousands of holes in the towers’ pillars and trusses. Experts used the waterfall method for demolition, where one floor collapses on another.
Joe Brickmann, director of Jet Demolition, previously said he was confident there would be no damage to buildings adjacent to the demolished towers.
“The buildings in this area are in a high seismic zone (zone IV) and were built to withstand earthquakes much stronger than the vibrations from the explosion. We are sure that the explosion of the towers will not cause any damage to the property,” The Times of India quoted him as saying.
In November, the world’s tallest building to date was demolished by explosives at 165 meters (541 ft) in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates. 27, 2020, according to Guinness World Records.
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