India conducts 'biggest demolition' on illegal 100-metre twin towers Featured

India has demolished two residential high-rise buildings outside New Delhi, in a dramatic spectacle carried live on television channels after days of excited media build-up.

The destruction on Sunday of the 100-metre-high "Twin Towers" in Noida, home to a concrete forest of similar structures, was also a rare example of residential building demolition in the country.

The 32 floors of "Apex" and the 29 of "Ceyane", containing between them nearly 1,000 apartments that were never inhabited in nine years of legal disputes, were brought down in seconds, creating an immense cloud of dust and debris.

The controlled implosions using 3,700 kilograms of explosives were India's biggest demolition to date, local media reported.

Thousands of people, as well as stray dogs, had to be evacuated before the blast, including from neighbouring high-rises, one of which was reportedly just nine metres away.

There were no immediate reports of injuries or damage to nearby buildings but a local official told reporters that the operation had gone "largely as planned".

Buildings breached safety regulations

The legal dispute over the towers went all the way to India's Supreme Court, which ruled last year that the buildings breached safety regulations.

The outskirts of major cities like Mumbai, Delhi, Hyderabad and Bangalore have become traps for middle-class buyers who invest in projects that are never completed or get drawn into similar legal sagas.

In Delhi's suburbs of Noida and Greater Noida, where the towers were demolished on Sunday, it is estimated that more than 100 residential towers have been abandoned by builders, making these areas look like ghost cities.

Uday Bhan Singh Teotia, one of a group of residents whose case against private developer Supertech led to the demolition order, said before the event that it would be a vindication of his legal battle.

"The two new towers that they constructed were blocking everything — our air and sunlight," Teotia, who lives close to the structures, said.

Demolitions of residential buildings are rare in India, with builders often escaping with penalties or abandoning projects midway if they fall foul of the law.

Source: AFP