SC Orders Supertech Twin Towers Demolition in Noida
Ordering the demolition of the 40-storey residential towers of Supertech in Noida, the Supreme Court on August 31 condemned the “dubious dealings” entered into by builders and authorities in metros across the country in brazen violation of the laws while showing scant concern about either the safety of the environment or the welfare of residents.
A Bench led by Justices D.Y. Chandrachud said protection of environment and the welfare and safety of citizens had to be balanced with the need for more housing in big cities. Illegal construction activities had to be strictly dealt with, the court said in a judgment, and added collusion between the Noida authority and the builder was writ large in the case.
The court took note of the fact that neither the builder nor the authorities had deemed it important to share the details of the buildings with the residents. The Residents Welfare Association (RWA)’s efforts to glean information through building records were stonewalled.
“There is an unholy nexus between the builder and the planner… the few who raised [their] voice against this are denied access to information… the law must step in to address the legitimate concerns,” the Supreme Court held.
It held that the sanction given for the construction of the two towers by Noida in 2009 violated the National Building Code. The constructions breached fire safety norms and also the Uttar Pradesh Apartment Act.
The court upheld the Allahabad High Court order to demolish the towers. The Supreme Court ordered the towers to be demolished in three months at the expense of the builder, Supertech.
The builder must pay ₹2 crore to the RWA in a month’s time.