Twin Tower Demolition:-India witnessed the demolition of Supertech Twin Towers — the highest-ever building in the country to be razed to ground. The nearly 100-meter tall structures were brought down in Uttar Pradesh’s Noida with the help of over 3,700 kg explosives.
The sheer magnitude and value of the asset destroyed begs one question: Has it sent a strong message to the builders and authorities who have been putting the interests and concerns of homebuyers at bay? Will it act as a deterrent going forward?
The Real Estate (Regulation and Development) Act, introduced by the government in 2016, was aimed at bringing clarity and fair practices that would protect the interests of buyers and also impose penalties on errant builders. However, keeping a check on the prevalent malpractices in the unorganised real estate sector was easier said than done. The unfolding of events in the case of Supertech Twin Towers is a major proof of the fact that a lot needs to be done.
The August 2021 order of the Supreme Court did not just point out the “acts of collusion between the officials of NOIDA and Supertech”, but also conveyed an unsaid yet stringent message — homebuyers cannot be taken for granted.
The Whole Issue
The ‘Supertech Emerald Court’ housing society in Noida, in which the two towers are located, was proposed to be built in 2004. The Noida Authority allotted a plot of land measuring 48,263 sq metres, which was a part of Plot No 4 situated in Sector 93A.
In 2005, the Noida Authority sanctioned the building plan for the construction of Emerald Court consisting of 14 towers, each with ground and nine floors (G+9). The construction commenced for these 14 towers.
In June 2006, the total leased area allotted to the company increased to 54,819.51 sq metres. Under the rules, the floor area ratio was also increased from 1.5 to 2 for the new allottees after 2006.
In December 2006, NOIDA sanctioned the first revised plan for the Emerald Court under the NBR 2006, by which two additional floors were added, thereby bringing all of them to ground and 11 floors (G+11). Also, additional buildings were also sanctioned — Tower 15, Tower 16 and a shopping complex.
In 2012, the Noida authority reviewed the new plan, in which the height of the twin towers was fixed at 40 floors.
In August 2021, the Supreme Court ordered the demolition of the structures as their construction violated the minimum distance requirement. According to the court, the buildings were built illegally without taking the consent of the individual flat owners as required under the UP Apartment Act.
The apex court also said Supertech and the Noida Authority engaged in a “nefarious complicity”. It then ordered Supertech to demolish the buildings at its expense, under the guidance of the Noida Authority.
In 2014, the court had directed the authority to demolish the buildings within 4 months at its own expense.
The Supreme Court’s decision comes after a number of petitions by homebuyers.
The buildings were to be demolished in May, which later postponed to August 21. Recently, the Supreme Court also extended the deadline to August 28, with a band of 7 days till September 4 due to technical issues and weather conditions.