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Noida Twin Towers Demolition: Only around 1 percent of the construction debris has reached C&D waste recycling plant

Environmentalists say at the current pace, the promise of recycling 30,000 tonnes before the end of November is unlikely to be met, and may take up to one year. They also plan to move the National Green Tribunal if authorities fail to meet the target. 

One month after the Supertech twin towers vanished from the Noida skyline, having been demolished on the order of the Supreme Court, only about 400 tonnes of construction and demolition (C&D) waste has reached the recycling plant in Noida’s Sector 80, or about 1.3 percent of the target 30,000 tonnes to be taken to the plant by November 2022, sources said.

Sources said that on September 29, about 150 tonnes of C&D waste reached the recycling plant.

Officials in Edifice Engineering, the company that carried out the demolition, said about 18 truckloads of debris have been transported already. This is after the Noida Authority on Wednesday ordered the company to remove the debris.

In a statement on September 28, the Noida Authority said, “The work of moving the construction and demolition waste should start by the Edifice Engineering from September 29, and should be completed by November 28, as per the Supreme Court orders.”

The razing of the two towers has left behind an estimated 80,000 tonnes of debris. Around 50,000 tonnes of debris was to be used for filling the pit where the towers stood, while the remaining 30,000 tonnes was to be transported to Noida’s C&D waste management plant in Sector 80.

Sources told Moneycontrol that the Supertech demolition was one of the largest carried out in India, and the amount of debris produced is unprecedented, leading to the delay in planning and management.

Environmentalists keeping a watch on the recycling process

Vikrant Tongad, an environmentalist in Noida, said, “Looking at the pace of transportation, it seems like it may take up to one year to fulfil the recycling targets and not as promised by November 28. As we wait and watch, rainwater is percolating through the debris, polluting the groundwater, while dust pollution is a major concern in the area.”

Tongad said that there was confusion over which entity was responsible for removing the debris. “Our sources told us Supertech is planning to transfer some of the waste to another construction site in Greater Noida, mostly to save money. However, when we wrote a letter to the Greater Noida Authority they denied the claim,” he said.

Plans to approach the National Green Tribunal

Environmentalists say they will wait for a while before approaching the residents’ welfare association and moving the National Green Tribunal (NGT).

“We will wait for some more months till we are handed a concrete plan for the transportation and the recycling of the debris. If the process fails to pick up pace, we will have to seek help from the NGT before the C&D waste starts affecting the environment,” Tongad added.

Ashish Vashisht, a lawyer and environmental activist, said that the Central Pollution Control Board should immediately intervene and monitor the recycling process. “Now the onus lies on CPCB, more than anyone else, to oversee and enforce the C&D Waste Management Rules, 2016,” he said.
Souptik Datta Sub Editor at Moneycontrol
first published: Sep 30, 2022 07:10 pm