Supertech moves SC over twin tower demolition; proposes 'alternative plan'
Supertech Builders has approached the Supreme Court seeking a stay on its August 31 order which directed the demolition of two disputed 40-story towers at its Emerald Court housing project in Noida. The company has reportedly proposed an alternative plan to demolish only one of the two towers, claiming this could save crores of money and could be environmentally "beneficial." Here are more details.
In its plea to the SC, Supertech claimed that partial demolition of one of the two towers would be sufficient to bring the structure in conformity with all the building norms. In this regard, the company proposed the demolition of 224 flats of one of the towers—from the ground floor to the 32nd floor—along with the community area on the ground floor.
Supertech also cited monetary losses and environmental impact as major concerns for the modification of the order. It said labor and materials worth "several crores of rupees shall be rendered complete waste in the form of scrap" if both towers are demolished. Stating that the demolition will "leave a huge quantity of debris," it said this would also "add to existing environmental issues."
Further, Supertech's plea submitted that one of the disputed towers, T-17, cannot be demolished by "blowing through explosives" due to its proximity with other towers. "The same would have to be done brick by brick," the company stated. Speaking to Hindustan Times, Supertech group chairperson RK Arora confirmed their application to the SC but refrained from commenting further on the issue.
On August 31, the SC had directed the demolition of Supertech's twin towers over gross violations of building norms. It had directed Supertech to demolish Towers 16 and 17 within three months at its own cost. Supertech was also ordered to repay the home buyers' entire amount with a 12% annual interest rate and to pay Rs. 2 crore to the Resident Welfare Association.
The August order came while the SC was hearing petitions on a 2014 verdict of the Allahabad High Court. In 2014, the HC had directed the demolition of the towers within four months at the builder's cost. However, the SC had stayed the HC order after Supertech filed an appeal. The SC had also restrained Supertech from selling/transferring any flat in the disputed towers.