Supertech moves Supreme Court to stop demolition of twin towers in Noida

In a turn of events, Supertech has approached Supreme Court to stop the demolition of the two 40-storey towers at its Emerald Court housing project in Noida. The reason they are quoting is they have come up with an alternative plan that could save several crores of rupees from going waste and also prove to be “beneficial for the environment”.

“The applicant submits that due to the proximity of T-17 with the other towers, the applicant cannot demolish the building by blowing through explosives and the same would have to be done brick by brick,” stated Supertech’s new application which is yet to be heard by the court.

Supertech has claimed that partial demolition of 224 flats of one of the two towers from the ground floor to the 32nd floor along with the community area on the ground floor will be sufficient to bring the structure in conformity with all the building norms. In its application for a stay order, it claimed, it would abide by the fire safety and other municipal norms in a time-bound manner.

Supertech group chairman R K Arora confirmed the filing of the application in court. “We don’t wish to comment any further on the issue at this point,” he told HT.

On August 31, a bench led by Justice Dhananjaya Y Chandrachud had ordered the demolition of the Supertech twin tower due to the grave violations of building norms and found to be a result of “nefarious complicity” between Noida Authority and the real estate developer.

The builder was directed to demolition the structure within 3 months and at its own expense under the supervision of the Noida Authority and an expert body like the Central Building Research Institute.

It was further ordered to refund money to all the present home-buyers in Emerald Court’s Apex and Ceyane towers within two months, plus an interest of 12% per annum from the date of their deposits. The developer was directed to pay out ₹2 crore to the Emerald Court Owner Resident Welfare Association (RWA), which had led the legal battle against the erection of the twin towers on a green area and in breach of the minimum distance norms.

The two towers have total of 915 flats of which 633 were booked. Of them, 252 flat buyers still remain as 133 homebuyers have re-invested in other Supertech projects while 248 have taken a refund.

Supertech has come up with a proposal against the order citing partial demolition of one of the towers (T-17), stating this would help maintain the prescribed minimum distance of 16 meters between the two towers both in terms of the height and length of the building, with this proposal they are seeking a modification of demolition order.

The application added that Supertech will provide a landscape green area on the demolished portion of T-17 which will give the residents a larger green area than contemplated under the original plan of 2006.

They have also offered to allot apartments in the revised building of T-17 for the customers wanting to retain their premise.

“If the modifications are allowed, it would save crores of resources from going to waste inasmuch as the applicant has already put materials worth crores of rupees in the construction of the two towers. The construction of the two towers has consumed steel and cement in huge quantities apart from various other materials, including human labour amounting to several crores of rupees which shall be rendered complete waste in the form of scrap,” said the application.

The plea application added that the proposed modification will be valuable for the environment because demolition will create debris that will have to be dumped at a landfill site that is already overburdened. “The same will add to the existing environmental issues which are already being faced by the said landfill sites, thus, further increasing the existing carbon footprint,” stated Supertech.

The August 31 verdict by the Supreme Court had come on a clutch of petitions by homebuyers for and against the 2014 verdict of the Allahabad high court. On April 11, 2014, the high court had ordered the demolition of the two buildings within four months and the refund of money to apartment buyers. This judgment was stayed by the top court after the firm filed an appeal.

The SC In its judgment admonished the Noida Authority for conniving with the builder for the illegal construction and held them in breach of municipal and fire safety norms. It said the 2009 sanction plan approved by the Authority was illegal since it flouted the minimum distance criteria. The top court held the plan could not have been sanctioned even otherwise without the consent of the homebuyers. It further directed the authority to take action against the officials complicit with Supertech.