Plumes of dust as India demolishes illegal skyscrapers

NOIDA, India—Indian authorities on Sunday demolished two illegally constructed skyscrapers amid a wide plume of dust debris near the capital, New Delhi, in less than 10 seconds to smash the country’s first ever tallest building. Destroyed the tallest building that was demolished.

Crowds watching the collapse from the rooftops of nearby skyscrapers cheered and applauded as the 103-meter (338-foot) tall tower collapsed from controlled demolition, enveloping the residential area.

Last year, the Supreme Court ordered the demolition of a tower in the Noida area, but after a lengthy legal battle it was found that the tower violated multiple building regulations and fire safety standards.

Officials told local media that more than 3,700 kilograms (8,100 pounds) of explosives had been used around 2:30 pm (0900 GMT). Strategically placed explosives were intended to minimize damage to the area.

Police said they were assessing whether any damage had occurred. Nearby residents said they would check their property for damage. Despite widespread illegal construction, such demolition is rare in India.

Thousands were evacuated from apartments near the blast site for about 10 hours, and dozens of police and paramedics were deployed to demolish the tower, which contains 850 vacant apartments.

Traffic was gradually restored and firefighters, using sprinklers, stood at the edge of a busy highway linking the capital with India’s most populous state of Uttar Pradesh, the Apex and Ceyane towers. It was lowering the dust level around it.

Several nearby buildings were covered with white plastic sheeting to protect them from debris.

On Twitter, many said the decision to blow up the tower was a draconian measure against corruption and would serve as an example and a warning to builders and construction companies.

indian twin towers
The Supertech Twin Towers ahead of their scheduled demolition by controlled blast in Noida, India, August 28, 2022. (Anushree Fadnavis/Reuters)

The explosion is expected to leave more than 80,000 tons of debris, most of which will be used to fill the site and the rest to be recycled.

Some families moved to safer locations on Saturday, fearing increased pollution and health hazards from the mass of debris.

Sudeep Roy, owner of a four-room apartment in a nearby low-rise building, said she booked a hotel room last week to spend the night with family and friends.

“It’s best to stay away from the blast site for 24 hours because the air will be toxic and we don’t know how it will affect our health,” says Roy, a mechanical engineer and father of twin boys. Told. from asthma.

Anushree Fadnavis