Kochi: Described as the first such implosion in the country of this dimension two Maradu flats in Kerala were raised to dust literally on Saturday.
Delayed by about 17 minutes according to what was on offer on television within a few seconds after the trigger for the blast was pressed, at 11.17 a.m. the 19 storied H2O Holy Faith was raised to the ground as a huge cloud of dust mushroomed up covering a huge area.
At 11.42 a.m., the first block of AAlfa Serene flats were also demolished and a minute later the second block followed it to the ground
According to preliminary information everything has gone according to plan and no major damages were reported, even as authorities were doing rounds of the neighbourhood to check if any unexpected damages took place.
At 10.32 a.m. the first siren was sounded to announce that the evacuation of all from the neighbourhood was complete and soon came the stopping of all vehicular traffic in the locality.
Ahead of the second siren that came about at 11.10 a.m., a Naval helicopter took five aerial survey of the area to make sure that everything is in order, including the stopping of all vehicular movement.
The third siren came at 11.16 a.m., which is the call given to the blasters to press the trigger and a minute after that the 19 floor H2O Holy Faith flat came down, leaving the entire area in a cover of white smoke.
Four fire tenders immediately reached the site and sprayed water to reduce the dust particles.
At 11.42 a.m., the first block of Alfa Serene flats came down and a minute later, the second block also came down.
The next round will take place on Sunday at 11 a.m. at Jain Coral Cave flats and at 2 p.m. at Golden Kayaloram flats.
On Saturday morning the place was cordoned off and over a thousand police officials were manning the various places that were barricaded.
The police had a tough time right from early morning chasing away people from sensitive areas, but the anxious onlookers who came from different parts of the state, however, was allowed to watch the implosion from a distance.
Early in the morning the Ernakulam District Collector S. Suhas went around the flats and took his seat at the control room at the Maradu municipality from where the entire operations was being manned.
Since Friday the dozen Malayalam TV channels dedicated a good time for the description of the implosion and from Saturday morning that was the only programme that they had giving every bit of information.
This has happened,four months after the Supreme Court ordered the demolition of four multi-storey illegal apartment complexes at Maradu, comprising 356 flats in four buildings and had housed 240 families.
After all the occupants moved out, authorities had removed all the windows and other things from the building and all that remained was a skeleton structure.
The apex court had on September 6 ordered its demolition by September 20 for violating the Coastal Regulation Zone Arules, but Kerala government dilly dallied it.
It was only after the court went hammer and tongs against Chief Secretary Tom Jose, did the Kerala government finally decide that there was no other way out but to get ready for the demolition.
After various rounds of discussions the date was finalised and through an open tender process, the demolition was handed over to companies who have done similar operations in the past.