Tuesday, October 4, 2022

Flaws in the laws

What the demolition on Sunday, of the Twin towers of the firm Supertech at Noida, UP has proved is that the law can be applied only if there is a political will. The entire national media especially the electronic media, kept the nation glued to the demolition of the twin towers with some 3500 kgs of explosives. The demolition carried out by the reality firm as per the order of the Supreme Court lasted around nine seconds and ended a nine-year-long legal battle. Realty firm Supertech maintained that the twin towers were constructed as per the building plan approved by Noida development authorities and no deviations were made, the towers- Ceyane (29 floors) and Apex (32 floors) – were part of the Emerald Court project of Supertech Ltd and were found to be in violation of multiple regulations regarding construction. They were demolished via a ‘controlled implosion’ to ensure minimal damage to the surroundings. The builders, on the Supreme Court orders, had to demolish the 40-storey twin towers at their own expense. According to reports the Towers cost around Rs.800 crore and the builders who have filed for insolvency are still not absolved of refunding the amount to the buyers. For many, the colossal cost of the buildings should have been considered by the court since the builders will not be in a position to refund the amount. However, the court ruled that any firm violating the building laws have to face the consequences and not be given a long rope and get away. If the law cannot be enforced then it becomes useless. The Twin Towers violated several building codes as observed by the Supreme Court. According to reports, the Noida Authority was complicit in sanctioning the building plan. Initially, the plan was to build 14 towers which of 9 floors. Later, around 2012, the new plan suggested twin towers with a height of 40 floors. The space that was supposed to have a park for the towers was converted into building space and the two towers were also constructed very close to each other. Certainly, the builders as with most in various cities, have been flouting building norms as they have been facilitated by corrupt housing authorities. The government of UP chief minister Yogi Adityanath, has made an example of the twin tower demolition. Much of the political will of the BJP government in UP stems from the fact that the towers were given the clearance from the previous Samajwadi Party government under Akhilesh Yadav. There are also many builders in Haryana and Delhi who have also flouted building laws but there has been no action taken. It is only when there are litigations then there could be some response from the court. The worst victims of such building offences in the past were buyers who had to wait for decades after paying hefty sums as advance and most of it in black. The buyers cannot disclose the amount of black money paid and so are caught in very tricky situations. It is incumbent upon the courts to direct the metro development authorities to form inspection teams to check various buildings in the metro cities. The laws can be effected only if there is a will to ensure that they are not flouted instead of acting only based on complaints.