Five days after the twin towers built by his company at Emerald Court were brought down on the Supreme Court’s orders, Supertech chairman RK Arora said on Friday he intends to build another housing society on that plot of land.
Emphasising that Supertech has ownership rights of the plot, and that the Noida Authority had allotted it for group housing, Arora said he will seek approval for a new project once the debris of the twin towers is cleared. “The land belongs to us and we will soon submit our plan to Noida Authority for approval as per building regulations. If the consent of the RWA of Emerald Court is required, then we will seek consent,” he told .
Arora’s contention sets the stage for another confrontation with the Emerald Court RWA, which fought the legal battle against the twin towers in Allahabad high court and then the Supreme Court for 10 years and wants the land to be turned into a green area.
Arora insisted current rules allow Supertech to develop a group housing project there. “We will develop whatever is permitted. A group housing project is possible as the plot was primarily allotted for a group housing project,” he said. Referring to the RWA’s stand, he added, “We will see if they have some observation… but as per the policy, we can develop the project.”
UBS Teotia, president of the Emerald Court RWA and one of the core petitioners in the case against the twin towers, said the residents would decide how the twin towers’ land is used, not Supertech. “This land belongs to us and the developer cannot do anything without our consent. The RWA will hold a meeting with all residents on what they would like on this land. Later, we will get it approved by the Noida Authority. Whatever the cost of the project is, the RWA will finance it,” he said.
One of the fulcrums of the RWA’s case against the twin towers was that they were incorporated without its consent. The twin towers were not part of the original layout of Emerald Court but were added through revisions that the Noida Authority approved later. The RWA’s approval was, however, not taken.
While delivering its verdict last August declaring the twin towers illegal, the main violations that the Supreme Court had found were that the construction plan sanctioned by the Noida Authority was contrary to building regulations, mandatory distance between building blocks, and movement space required between structures. As a result, it observed, the “rights of the apartment owners and the safety of their apartment blocks have been seriously affected”.
Aster-2, the 12-storey building at Emerald Court that was closest to the twin towers, had just a 9-metre separation from the outer wall of Apex, the taller of the twin towers. This distance should have at least been 16 metres.
Rajesh Rana, who lives in Aster-2, said, “The apex court ruled that the twin towers were illegal. They have just been demolished and the developer is making such comments. Most residents want this to be a green area or garden belt. We are not in favour of any commercial activities here. Maybe a children’s park is a good idea,” he said. Another Emerald Court resident wondered what the point was of bringing the twin towers down if buildings again came up on that plot.
Noida Authority CEO Ritu Maheshwari said it was premature to comment on this. “The twin towers have been demolished. We have not received any application from either Supertech or the Emerald Court RWA. We will see if such an application comes and decide as per the rule,” she said.
The demolition of the twin towers generated around 80,000 tonnes of debris that will take at least three months to clear.