The SIT officials spent 20 minutes at Aster 2- a residential building close to twin towers to gather details from the building’s residents.
The special investigation team set up by the UP government visited the Emerald Court on Thursday, the project site of the twin tower that the Supreme Court found illegal and ordered to be demolished.
The four-member SIT was created in August 2021 when the Supreme Court ordered a probe. The court observed a lack of cooperation and suspected illegal dealings between the officials of Noida Authority and Supertech Group pertaining to the approval of twin towers construction.
The Emerald Court RWA fought the legal battle against the twin tower illegal construction. Rajesh Rana, president of the Emerald Court RWA and an Aster 2 resident, said, “The SIT members asked us what the distance is between Aster 2 and the twin tower. We told them it was not more than 9 meters. They spent some more time on the compound and strolled around the building before leaving.”
SIT officials reached the site at 8.40 am on Thursday and the team was accompanied with senior officers of the Noida Authority. They spent about 20 minutes at Aster 2, a residential building close to twin towers to gather details from the building’s residents. The three-member of the SIT, including its head Sanjiv Mittal left Noida after breakfast but the chief town and country planner Anoop Srivastava stayed on to gather further information from the residents.
Srivastava has been assigned the critical task of fault-finding and was accompanied by the general manager of Noida Authority’s planning division and other officials with case details through Friday.
Although Srivastava has good knowledge of planning and urban development in UP but the rules and regulations and building bylaws in Noida are different as Noida falls under Uttar Pradesh Industrial Area Development Act.
Noida Authority planning department is broadly divided into two main sections – one taking care of overall planning, zoning and urban development and the other, called building cell which deals with approving maps, floor area ratio and height of the buildings.
Srivastava is also looking through the building plans for two-three more projects from different developers that had been revised in November 2009 and March 2012, around the same period when approval of construction was given by authority to increase the height of the twin towers.
“The idea is to see if the same procedure was followed in all building plans that had been approved during that period or some exceptional order or changes were made while approving the plans of Apex and Ceyane (the twin towers),” said a Noida Authority source.
The SIT team had communicated to the chief minister’s office that they want more time to compile their report as they need to verify some aspects of the case. The SIT team is expected to submit its report next Tuesday or Wednesday, according to some sources.
Meetings of the Noida Industrial Development Authority and Noida Authority scheduled for Friday and Saturday have been postponed until further notice. Since Mittal is on chair for both the authorities, the meeting has been postponed until further notice. The date will be announced after SIT submits the study report.
Emerald Court RWA will soon be appointing a Civil Engineer to seek advise in the future course. The engineer will be working with the Noida authority and the agency that plans to demolish the twin towers. RWA wants to understand the protocols that need to be followed to ensure the safety of residents before demolition.