Kochi set for blasting of five high-rises

Kochi set for blasting of five high-rises

A view of the twin-tower flats at Alfa Serene complex which would be demolished January 11, at Maradu in Kochi. (Credit: PTI)

As Kochi city in Kerala gears up to witness the implosion of five high-rises using explosives on Saturday and Sunday, explosives experts say that the sound and vibrations will be much lesser than that of a festival firework.

In order to minimise the impact, only a minimum quantity of emulsion explosive is being used to implode the water-front luxury apartments that are over 17 to 19 storeys tall. Trenches were taken around the buildings to minimise the vibration to nearby houses and ten layers covering using steel mesh and geo-tex being provided to all pillars to be exploded.

Petroleum and Explosives Safety Organisation deputy chief controller of explosives R Venugopal said that a total of 76,350 metric tonnes of dust was estimated to be generated by the demolitions, which would be a challenge. He added that efforts were put into minimising damage to nearby houses and other buildings.

"The sound level would be a maximum of 120 decibels. The sound and vibration of the implosion would be much lesser than that of any festival fireworks of Kerala and hence there was no need for any scare," Venugopal told DH.

The five high-rises being razed as per SC order for CRZ violation would be reduced to debris in few seconds by the imploding technology using emulsion explosives, which will use ammonium nitrate.

In order to avoid the blast, just minimum quantity of explosives would be used and all pillars are covered with five layers of steel mesh to prevent the large debris and another five layers of outer covering using geo-tex, said Venugopal.

Trenches taken around Alfa Serene would minimise the vibration from affecting nearby houses. In order to save a small Anganwadi near Golden Kayaloram apartment, the debris would be made to fall within a 12-metre space.

Trial run completed

A trial run of the safety parameters of the demolition was done on Friday. Explosives expert S B Sarwate, who evaluated the preparation expressed satisfaction.

Kochi city police commissioner Vijay Sakhare said that prohibitory orders would be clamped in the locality from 8 am to 4 pm on Saturday. People would not be allowed beyond 200 metres from the building. Sirens would be sounded ahead of the implosion of each building.

While 19-storey Holy Faith will be demolished at 11 am on Saturday, 17-storey twin towers of Alfa Serene would be razed at 11.05 am. Jain's Coral Cove and Golden Kayaloram, both having 17 storeys, will be razed at 11 am and 2 pm respectively on Sunday.

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