10 Numbers That Sum Up Demolition Plan

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Collapse of Supertech towers in Noida Sector 93A will take all of nine seconds upon controlled blast.

Noida:
At 2.30 pm today, Noida will see a demolition that has few parallels in India, perhaps the world, as two massive towers in Sector 93A will fall for having been built against the rules. Numbers may help get a measure of the scale.

Here are some figures that tell the story

  1. 40: That’s the number of floors planned in each tower originally. While some couldn’t be built due to a court halting it, some of the construction were broken down manually ahead of the final implosion-and-collapse. Now, Apex tower has 32. Ceyane has 29. The plan was to have 900+ flats, two-thirds of which had been booked or sold. Supreme Court ordered a refund with interest. A skeletal structure remains. 

  2. 103 metres: That’s the height of Apex tower; Ceyane stands at 97 metres. Edifice Engineering, the demolition company, has tied up with experts from South Africa who were part of demolition of a bank building in Johannesburg three years ago. That one was 108 metres. The tallest building to have been brought down with an implosion in India stood at 68 metres, in Kerala. It was demolished in 2020. The world record, too, came about that same year, when a building of 168 metres was brought down in Abu Dhabi.

  3. 8 metres: That’s how close some of the adjacent apartment buildings are to the twin towers. There are several others within 9-12 metres. They have been covered in a special cloth to minimise dust penetration. In the South Africa case, other buildings were just 7.8 metres away, but the demolition was done safely. 

  4. 3,700 kg: Explosives have been inserted into nearly 7,000 holes in the pillars. These holes are two metres each, meaning 14 km of holes house the explosives. To bring it all together, 20,000 circuits have been set. When triggered, these will crash the pillars in such a manner that the towers fall straight down — it’s called the ‘waterfall technique’.

  5. 9 seconds: That’s how long the collapse will last, says the project engineer. He will stand next to the blaster, to be designated by the Noida administration, besides three experts from Africa and some other government officers — not more than 10 people in all — who will stand at least 100 metres away. Traffic on the Greater Noida Expressway — within the 450-metre no-go zone — will be stopped for half an hour. That is, 15 minutes on either side of the blast, from 2.15 to 2.45.

  6. 12 minutes: That’s the time it will take for dust to settle. It could vary a bit if wind speed isn’t the usual. After that, labourers will move in to check on adjacent buildings, and get to work on the debris immediately. The debris, of course, will take much longer to clear — up to three months for the 55,000 tonnes (or 3,000 trucks). It’ll be dumped at some designated areas in the region.  

  7. 30 mm per second: Vibrations after the blast will be felt up to 30 metres, but only for a few seconds, that too at just about 30 mm/second. In simpler words, that’s equal to an earthquake of 0.4 on the Richter Scale. Noida routinely gets minor tremors, and structures built as per norms here can withstand a Richter Scale-6 earthquake.         

  8. 7,000:Residents of adjacent areas have to move out by 7 am on Demolition Day, along with about 150 pets and 2,500 vehicles. The most optimistic ones have gone on vacation, mainly to the hills in nearby Uttarakhand. Others are staying with relatives or friends. After an all-clear by the project officials, gas and power will be switched back on by 4 pm, and residents be allowed back in by 5.30.

  9. 9 years:That’s how long it took for a final court verdict that came in August 2021. Residents of Supertech Emerald Court society first moved court in 2012, after these towers were finally approved as part of a revised building plan. They said these were hemming them in. There were illegalities in the approvals too, for which some officials were later punished. The Allahabad High Court ordered the demolition in 2014. The case went to the Supreme Court for a final decision. Last August, the court gave three months to demolish the towers but it’s taken a year due to technical difficulties.

  10. Rs 100 crore: That’s how much the whole demolition is insured for. This should cover damage to adjacent buildings, in case things go sideways. The premium and other costs have to be borne by Supertech. While the demolition project may cost upwards of Rs 20 crore, the loss of the towers — skeletal as they were — is estimated at more than Rs 50 crore.



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