Kochi

Demolition of apartments to redraw landscape of Maradu in 24 hours

A matter of time: The two towers of Alfa Serene (on the left) and H2O Holy Faith seen in a row on Thursday evening.

A matter of time: The two towers of Alfa Serene (on the left) and H2O Holy Faith seen in a row on Thursday evening.  

Trial run of the process, without explosion, to be conducted today

In a day, H2O Holy Faith and Alfa Serene, the two illegal structures that were built in violation of the Coastal Regulation Zone norms, will be reduced to rubble, changing the urban landscape of Maradu Municipality forever.

A trial run of the demolition, minus explosion, will be held on Friday morning to ensure that safety and recovery operations, including the entry of fire tenders and ambulances to the site, are performed as planned, said Snehil Kumar Singh, the Fort Kochi RDO in charge of the demolition.

The demolition of the buildings was warranted following a Supreme Court order. The apex court had issued an ultimatum to the State Government on May 8 last year to raze the buildings and had summoned Chief Secretary Tom Jose for non-compliance with its order.

On Saturday, a series of blasts will be triggered at the buildings from a distance at 11 a.m. and 11.05 a.m. H2O Holy Faith, the 68-metre-tall apartment built in 16 floors, will end up as a heap of rubble, which may measure up to 16 metres. The demolition is expected to be completed in 5.6 seconds.

Buildings inspected

After completing the groundwork for the demolition, including loading of explosives and connecting them to detonators, a team of experts led by Joe Brinkman of Jet Demolition, South Africa, the technology partner of Edifice Engineering, Mumbai, carried out detailed inspections at the buildings to ensure that the structures come down as planned.

Red flags were erected along the boundary of the exclusion zone, which has been fixed as 200 metres from the boundary of the holdings where the apartments were built. Preparations for the demolition were reviewed at a meeting convened by the Chief Secretary on Thursday evening. The technical committee will meet at Maradu municipal office on Friday at 11 a.m. to review the preparations.

When detonated, H2O Holy Faith, the first building to be demolished, will come down forward a bit in its downward movement to fall on its side in the form of a waterfall. The heap of rubble may reach up to the front gate of the complex but not beyond the point, said Uttkarsh Mehta of Edifice Engineering.

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Printable version | Feb 28, 2020 5:29:48 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Kochi/demolition-of-apartments-to-redraw-landscape-of-maradu-in-24-hours/article30528599.ece

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