Kochi

Maradu flats demolition to go down as record for future generations

The air quality monitoring equipment set up by the PCB to check ambient air quality prior to the demolition of apartments.

The air quality monitoring equipment set up by the PCB to check ambient air quality prior to the demolition of apartments.  

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Implosion to be recorded live and sent to control room; engineers to monitor all aspects on minute-to-minute basis

All aspects of the demolition of the four residential apartment complexes at Maradu, from the angle of pull to flying debris to dust accumulation, will be recorded minutely for future generations to study and learn from. “It will not be a simple act of bringing down massive structures, but an exercise that will profit future generations,” said R. Venugopal, Deputy Chief Controller of Explosives, Petroleum and Explosives Safety Organisation (PESO), here on Friday.

Speaking to The Hindu on the eve of the first-ever such exercise in Kerala, Mr. Venugopal said the demolition process would be recorded live and sent to the control room at the Maradu municipal office complex, where a team of engineers from various agencies will monitor every aspect on a minute-to-minute basis.

The recordings are being done using unmanned cameras established on Le Meridien hotel complex and BPCL Kochi office premises by PESO. They will be in action from two hours before the blasts and last well an hour after the event.

The unmanned cameras will catch every aspect of the blasts live, the most significant of them being the angle of pull or the angle at which the buildings will collapse as the detonators get to work. The timing of the blasts, flying debris, height of the debris pile, and dust accumulation will be recorded and scrutinised. A team of scientists from IIT - Madras will study tremors generated by the blasts. Scientists from the Pollution Control Board (PCB) will examine the environmental impact.

Mr. Venugopal said everything should go as planned. A team of engineers laboured 24 hours a day for around a month to see that everything was ready. It has been a great example of cooperation, he said, He marked out structural engineer Anil Joseph and engineer Subhash for special praise. The Central and State agencies worked closely. Cadre services and engineers drawn from agencies as different as local self-governments, Public Works Department, and the Kochi metro put their heads together for the project.

Such collaborations have made life a little easier, said Mr. Venugopal, who described the task as a challenging one. Lakhs of tonnes of explosives have been detonated under PESO supervision, but bringing down massive building complexes is the first-of-its-kind operation taken up by the agency, he pointed out.

“We have gone over the blast plan several times. The emergency plans, explosives calculations, ensuring four-layer fencing of the pillars, pre-weakening of all no-load-bearing walls, fixtures, plumbing, and stairways were part of the work. Four-layered fencing, with chain link fencing, including covering with geotextile fabric to contain fragments scattered by the blasts, and covering of the surrounding buildings to prevent damage from flying fragments have been ensured,” he added.

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Printable version | Jan 26, 2020 5:07:05 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Kochi/demolition-to-go-down-as-record-for-future-generations/article30538965.ece

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