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Delhi NCR's Supertech demolition, a super-tech feat

The spectacle was an engineering marvel that took India to the world club of demolitions, even as in less than ten seconds it created a gap up in the sky incomprehensible for the layman. Where has it gone!

by RM Nair

NEW DELHI, Aug 28: Delhi NCR's tallest but illegal high-rises, the 100-metre Supertech twin towers were demolished on Sunday as precisely as planned. Thousands of onlookers gathered at the scene of the blast waited with bated breath for the rarest of rare shows that was just going to be performed in front of their eyes as the clock ticked away the seconds. At sharp 2:30 pm, it boomed and the towers crashed to the ground where it stood. The skyscrapers did not fall, it just sat at its own space itself as a heap of debris and huge fragments.

It was as exciting for the crowds as it was challenging for the techies because other surrounding apartments were within spitting distance (literally) (see photos), on all three sides, leaving the west side where there is the road and a sprawling park beyond. Their what is called the waterfall technique of implosion really worked, as they had drilled in 3,700 kg of explosives accordingly. It's unlike of 'diamond cutting' or the old style tree felling to a desired direction. But they did eye the west too as a leeway resort and that side really took the brunt of the overflowing larger concrete fragments in fact.

Shear walls as conceived in structural engineering can withstand lateral seismic forces hugely but it renders a high-rise all the more difficult to demolish, the South African guys were reported to have commented about their Herculean task ahead in approaching Supertech but still they were quite confident and they did make India join the world club of demolitions with their engineering marvel employing the implosion technology that took less than 10 seconds.

Above: Emerald Apartments to its right, within touching distance! All dressed up to keep off a duststorm, out of harm’s way!

For the ATS Apartments to its left, it was a narrow escape indeed!

It all ended well exactly as the neighbouring apartment owners prayed for and the engineers planned. No injuries, no damages, not too much of visible dust and smoke. However, the charge of the crashing overflow fragments came too menacingly close by a few feet for the nearest ATS apartments' comfort. On other sides within touching distance were Emerald, and Bluestone. Around 5,000 residents of the surrounding apartments were evacuated 'lock, stock and barrel', for the day, windows and everything shut tightly and the buildings dressed up to keep off a duststorm, out of harm’s way.

The debris would be 80,000 tons of iron, steel, rubble and other materials.

It was not known till late evening if anybody would suffer possible breathing issues inhaling invisible chemical dust that was bound to be a lot although anti-smog guns, mechanical sweepers and plenty of sprinklers were elaborately on the job.

The twin towers in Noida Sector 93, Apex (32 floors) and Ceyanne (29 floors), could have cost Supertech builders anywhere from Rs 500 cr to Rs 1,000 cr for construction that took around 10 years. The Supreme Court had upheld the plea of violation of building regulations last year and endorsed the High Court ruling for demolition in a 10-year legal battle by neighbouring residents. The demolition fee for Edifice Engineering, who had South African Jet Demolitions as consultants, was Rs 20 cr. Joe Brinkman of Jet was the brain behind the risky operation.

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