Noida's Twin Towers demolition: Maradu residents remind counterparts to secure legal assurances

Maradu flats demolition | File photo: Mathrubhumi

Kochi: There is a word of caution from a few residents of Kerala's Maradu Municipality for those living in the neighbourhood of two high rise structures in Noida to be demolished on Sunday--"Secure legal assurances from the authorities before demolition to ensure safety of your buildings".

Sugunan, 56, a resident of Maradu Municipality, here is still knocking on the doors of authorities seeking compensation for the damage his two-storey house suffered when one of the four illegal waterfront high rise apartments in his neighbourhood was brought down using a controlled implosion two years ago.

He said cracks appeared in the roof of his house as a result of the demolition of Alfa Serene twin apartment complex. As a result, he suffered a loss of over Rs 3 lakh.

A plumber by profession, Sugunan said his hopes for the financial aid promised by the authorities are fading due to the continued negligence from them.

He said his neighbour Ajith's house had suffered also a damage and he died of covid-19 complications while waiting for Rs 4 lakh compensation.

As the nearly 100-metre-tall Apex and Ceyane towers in Noida --taller than Delhi's iconic Qutub Minar--are scheduled to be demolished on Sunday afternoon, the municipal administration is trying to get the compensation for the affected persons.

The towers are being demolished in pursuance of a Supreme Court order that found their construction within Emerald Court premises in violation of norms.

Officials have stated Mumbai-based Edifice Engineering has partnered with South Africa's Jet Demolitions for the high-risk job that involves razing down the two high-rise structures in a manner that the residential towers at barely nine-metre distance do not get affected.

"Some people in Maradu are still on the path of agitation seeking compensation for the damage caused to their houses due to the demolition. They have not received any assurances from the government or the authorities concerned so far", Tripunithura MLA K Babu told PTI.

Maradu Municipal Chairman Antony Ashanparambil said around 10 families have not got the compensation despite their houses being insured before the demolition of apartment complexes in the municipality.

Antony, who was the vice chairman of the municipality then, said their houses were insured but they could not do the necessary follow up for the claims as the insurance companies were based out of Chennai and Bengaluru.

"It is not practically possible for them to go there and fight a legal battle seeking compensation. It is a very complicated matter," he said and blamed the government for it.

"The state government did everything on its own without involving the municipality in the process. That's why we are facing such a problem," Antony told PTI.

He said the municipality is ready to pay the compensation to the affected residents and awaiting the government's nod for it.

Hari, another resident of Maradu, who has a house next to the demolished twin flats, said the main issue was dust when they started to demolish the minor structures inside the complex using excavators.

"The whole house was shaking when they were hitting the small structures. Before the controlled demolition of the two large flats, small structures including a swimming pool and others were demolished using excavators. That created a lot of dust and the house was shaking with each hit", he said.

Before the demolition, Hari and family were shifted to another place.

"We stayed away for three months until the whole debris was removed from the area. The dust was unbearable. Even though the NGT had ordered to wet the debris before removing it in order to reduce the dust, they did not do anything like that", he claimed.

Hari said the roof tiles and window panes of his house were damaged in the process.

"The demolition team repaired it for us. They had also insured our house before the demolition but luckily nothing much happened to the structure", he said.

Four apartment complexes in Maradu were demolished in January 2020, complying with the orders of the Apex Court which had held the structures to be illegal as they had been built in violation of the Coastal Regulation Zone norms.

The complexes--Alfa Serene apartments, along with Jain Coral Cove, Golden Kayaloram and Holy Faith H2O housing a total of 343 flats-- were razed to the ground using the implosion method.

Over 3,700 kg of explosives would be used to demolish Supertech's illegal twin towers at 2.30 pm on August 28, leaving behind 35,000 cubic metres of debris and a cloud of dust.

Around 5,000 residents of nearby Emerald Court and ATS Societies would have to vacate their homes from morning till evening on August 28. PTI

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