The private company supposed to demolish the Supertech twin towers on May 22 has requested that the deadline be extended to August 28.
While the Noida Authority has refused to extend the deadline, calling it a breach of the agreement, officials said Supertech, the developer, was planning to approach the Supreme Court with the private company’s request.
Mumbai-based Edifice Engineering and its South African partner, Jet Demolitions, have sought the extension on technical grounds. They have said that given the strength of the two towers in Sector 93A, they will have to carry out blasts on two additional floors. Consequently, the preparations will take more time. The companies, moreover, are also taking into account the monsoon, which will set in during the demolition process.
It was after the test blast on April 10 that Edifice had said that the basement of towers were quite strong and suggested the demolition process can be extended. The basements of the two towers were built to bear the weight of 40-storey buildings — 32 were finally constructed.
Under a revised blast design chalked out by Edifice and Jet, blasts would now need to be carried out on 11 floors instead of nine. “In the initial design, we had planned blasts on 10 floors. Later, the 30th floor was removed. But after the test blast, not only has the 30th floor been added back, basement 1 has been included as well. This makes it a total of 11 floors now,” said an Edifice official.
With the two additional floors, the companies will now need more explosives than earlier. Sources in Edifice said the amount of explosives had been increased from 2.4 tonnes to 3.3 tonnes. “Charging” of the pillars — placing explosives in columns — in these floors will need 18 days.
That’s not all. More wraps of chain links and geotextile cloth will need to be placed around the columns to ensure the safety of nearby buildings. The wraps will prevent the debris from flying after the blasts are carried out and damaging the other buildings. Earlier, there were only two layers of chain links and geotextile cloth around the columns. But now, there will be six such layers each for floors between the basement and the sixth and four layers each on the floors above.
Officials said Edifice and its partner were not willing to take any safety risk. “It is a critical job. Safety is paramount here, even if it adds to the firm’s cost,” an official said.
According to the officials, the monsoon needs to be factored in as work would be affected because of the rains.
The weariness of the 280-odd labourers and six supervisors — who have been working continuously at the site — also needs to be considered, they said.
In February this year, Edifice had sought four and a half months for the demolition process, but the Noida Authority had overruled the demand and fixed May 22 as the date. When the Supreme Court had ordered the demolition on August 31 last year, Supertech was asked to complete the process in three months.
In early February, the apex court asked the Noida Authority to convene a meeting and start the demolition process by the 20th of that month. At a meeting on February 9, May 22 was fixed as the demolition date and the court was informed about it.
Ritu Maheshwari, the Noida Authority CEO, had earlier said that any extension of the deadline would amount to breach of the agreement. “Edifice has written to Supertech and the builder is responsible to take up the matter. The extension is a violation of the earlier agreement. The Authority, on its part, will not be able to extend the deadline,” she had said.