Kerala

Demolition of Maradu apartments carried out with precision

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Alfa Serene and H2O Holy Faith apartment complexes in Maradu brought down without any significant damage to environment

After the successful demolition of two apartments located close to several houses and other structures, stage has been set for pulling down the remaining ones too.

Considering the precision with which Alfa Serene and H2O Holy Faith were brought down without much adverse impact, the demolition of Golden Kayaloram and Jain Coral Cove will be a relatively easy affair, says Snehil Kumar Singh, Fort Kochi RDO, who coordinated the demolition works.

The challenge before demolition experts was that several houses were located close to Alfa Serene. All the protests of local residents seeking protection for their houses were also centred around the apartment complex. Everyone was confident that the blasts would safely bring the apartments down. However, one had to wait till the demolition to be over to assert it. All went well as planned, said Mr. Kumar.

It was the 12-member technical committee that did the magic. The committee took all the important decisions regarding the blasts and it proved to be right, he said.

For Uttkarsh Mehta, partner of Edifice Engineering that pulled down H2O Holy Faith, the job is only half-done as two more structures are to be demolished on Sunday.

The demolition of the apartment went on as planned though a portion of the compound wall of the building collapsed in the process. Barring the first few metres, the compound wall remained intact despite the building being reduced to a heap of rubble, he said.

The blast and the shock waves it triggered did not touch the abandoned building close to the compound wall. However, the windowpane of the security cabin was found shattered.

“After the demolition, we went inside the compound to find that everything went well as planned. Sunday’s demolition will also take place as planned,” said Mr. Mehta.

Reference point for nation

Deputy Chief Controller of Explosives R. Venugopal felt that the Maradu demolition would serve as a reference point for the country to evolve a demolition code. The demolition of Alfa Serene was the most satisfying event as the structures, including houses and a hotel, and the nearby waterbody could be saved from the impact of the demolition.

Though it was initially anticipated that 15% of the debris would fall into the waterbody, hardly 10% fell it to it. It was splinters from the blast and not big concrete pieces that fell into water, thus saving the lake from ecological damage, said Dr. Venugopal.

Environment Secretary Usha Titus, who was in Kochi to oversee the blasts, said the successful implementation of the Supreme Court order regarding the demolition would be reported back to the court on Monday, when the case would again be considered.

The razing of Alfa Serene, said Anand Sharma, blast expert for Vijay Steels that knocked off the apartment complex, was a big challenge as there were 16 houses located on the periphery of the building. A hotel complex was also located close to it and a waterbody was flowing nearby.

The blast could be executed as designed earlier. The debris was contained inside the site itself and it didn’t even hit the compound wall of the apartment complex, said Mr. Sharma.

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Printable version | Jan 27, 2020 10:20:55 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/kerala/implosionprecision/article30546336.ece

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