When the Supreme Court ordered the demolition of Supertech’s twin towers in Noida in August last year, Chetan Dutta, a 49-year-old blaster, “prayed” for the opportunity to press the button to bring down the nearly 100-metre-tall structures.
And, a year later on August 28, Dutta will press the button to commence the demolition. “It’s like a dream come true,” says Dutta, who hails from Hisar in Haryana.
He was approached by Edifice Engineering, which has been tasked with demolishing the towers, to act as a blaster.
“When the Supreme Court’s decision came, someone forwarded a message (about it) on WhatsApp and I prayed to God that I should be given an opportunity to demolish the building. I did not expect to be chosen though…Months later, in July, Edifice approached me and my firm for the loading of explosives,” said Dutta, who runs a firm that is involved in building demolition.
“In the last 10 days, we have very carefully loaded the explosives. We are ready now…,” he added.
Taller than Delhi’s iconic Qutub Minar, the nearly 100-metre-high Apex and Ceyane towers in Noida’s Sector 93A are set to be demolished at 2.30 pm on August 28.
The Supreme Court on August 31 last year had ordered the demolition of the towers for violation of building norms in collusion with district officials, holding that illegal construction has to be dealt with strictly to ensure compliance with the rule of law.
It is the first residential tower for which Dutta is acting as a blaster. “I have been in this line of business since 2002. I have conducted the demolition of thermal power plants, mines and other structures. But this is the first residential building for which I am acting as a blaster,” he said.
Dutta said he is confident that the demolition will be carried out in a successful and safe manner. “We have done plenty of preparations to carry out the operation. All minute details and problems have been taken care of.”
More than 3,700 kg of explosives are being used to implode the twin towers. The major task is to ensure the safety of people living in the vicinity and that no nearby buildings suffer damage.
“So much research was carried out. Following the loading of explosives, checks were done thrice. Flying rubble is a major concern…And to prevent that, the blasting area has been covered with four layers of iron mesh and two layers of blanket. No rubble will fly past, but dust may,” he said.
Dutta explains that he will be stationed about 50-70 metres away from the building while pressing the button.
“We’ll be almost 50-70m away from the building, there will be no danger and we are very much sure that the building will collapse in a proper way…,” he added.
Explaining the demolition process, Dutta said: “It’s a simple process. We generate current from the dynamo and then press the button which will ignite the detonators in all shock tubes within 9 seconds.”
The Apex and Ceyane towers in Noida’s Sector 93A will be demolished in pursuance of a Supreme Court order that found that structures had come up in Supertech’s Emerald Court society premises in violation of norms.
Over 5,000 residents of Emerald Court and ATS Village — the two closest societies to the twin towers — will be evacuated by 7 am on Sunday. Around 2,700 vehicles belonging to them will also be removed from the premises and the residents will take away around 150-200 of their pets, too.
An exclusion zone will be created at a radius of up to 500 metres around the twin towers where no human or animal will be allowed, except for a team of Indian and foreign blasters engaged in the demolition of the nearly 100-metre-tall structures.
Earlier, demolition firm Edifice Engineering, experts of Central Building Research Institute and the Noida Authority officials had expressed confidence that the structures will be demolished safely and said they were satisfied with the arrangements made for controlling debris splinters.