The residential tower was demolished using controlled explosives.

Belief Tower in Chennais Moulivakkom razed two years after 61 died in building collapsePTI
news Housing Wednesday, November 02, 2016 - 12:42

More than two years after an 11-storey under-construction building named “Faith” collapsed in Moulivakkam, a suburb in Chennai, officials from the Chennai Metropolitan Development Agency demolished its twin tower on Wednesday. 

The tower was demolished using controlled explosives at 6:52pm. While the demolition was originally scheduled between 2pm and 4pm, it had to be delayed for technical reasons. 

On June 28, 2014, 61 people, mostly construction workers, were killed when the 11-storey residential building that was still under construction collapsed following a spell of heavy rain. Project “Trust Heights” with twin residential towers named Faith and Belief, was Prime Sristi Private Limited’s first construction project in Chennai.  

Why the delay in demolishing the building?  

The demolition of the “Belief” tower comes after a two-year legal battle between the builders and the Kanchipuram district administration. “Two demolition orders by the district administration could not be executed in the past as the High Court struck them down on technical grounds,” reports Times of India.

After the Tamil Nadu government approached the Supreme Court to demolish the structure, a three-member panel was set up.  

The committee, comprising of Dr Shashank Bisnoi, assistant professor, Indian Institute of New Delhi, senior advocate Ashok Gupta and LP Singh, general manager (Structure), National Building Construction Ltd, submitted a report stating: 

“The structural design of the building is so grossly inadequate that it can never be used for housing/habitation.”

Recommending the demolition of the 11-storey building, the panel, in its report observes: 

“Keeping in view the significant under-designing and major design deficiencies, the ideal solution will be demolition of the structure. Any lateral load like earthquake, strong wind, etc is likely to result in a catastrophic situation.”

In May, the Supreme Court ordered the demolition following the panel’s recommendation that “Belief” tower was unsafe. 

Arrangements for demolition

According to Times of India, Wednesday’s demolition was carried out by Tirupur-based Maglink Infra Projects Private Limited, using explosives including gelatin. The implosion was carried out by the press of a button, with the building brought down in three seconds. The structure of the building was weakened to enable the demolition, reports The Hindu.

Families living in houses in a 100-metre radius from the demolition site were asked to evacuate and arrangements had been made to accommodate them at a marriage hall, stated a release issued by CMDA. Ambulances and fire tenders were also deployed in case of emergency. 

Traffic diversions were in place  with no vehicles allowed to ply between Kundrathur junction and Porur, reports The Hindu

A power shutdown had also been scheduled until the demolition in areas close to the site. 

The Kanchipuram district administration also declared a holiday for all educational institutions in the area, as a precautionary measure. 

 

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