And anger seems to be the common emotion among the residents of Aster-2, who live just nine metres away from the site, and are bearing the brunt of the continuing dismantling of the structure and removal of the piles of concrete debris and metal.
The debris has still not been moved, despite claims of the company assigned by Supertech, the developer of the twin towers, that 60 per cent of the 80,000 tonnes of debris has been carted away.
As a result, daily, sharp at 8 a.m., the workers dig away non-stop, with the sound from the mammoth machines employed by them reaching up to maximum 100 decibels if three work in tandem.
The activity ends at 8 p.m., after which the manual cleanup takes place, leading to yet another kind of metallic cacophony.
On Monday, three such big drillers were in operation right under the Aster-2 block and four near ATS Village at 7.35 p.m. The work was stopped only after the residents complained bitterly.
Anish Bansal, a World Bank executive, told IANS: "We need to highlight that this digging is not compulsory. It is being done only in order to salvage iron and steel. Otherwise, they can just remove the loose structures above ground zero and retain the unbroken pillars in the basement. If the noise and vibration is for the purpose of removal of rubble, we wouldn’t complain; we know that it is necessary. However, the removal of pillars by digging below ground zero s not necessary."
Inderjeet Kaur, a homemaker and mother of two living in Aster-2, Emerald Court, told IANS that she had to undergo brain-mapping and was diagnosed with high stress levels because of the noise.
"We have seen this building from its foundations being laid to it being brought down, but all this was done with engineers around; now, there are no engineers to supervise the work. Semi-skilled workers are being employed at the site and they have zero expertise in removing debris from residential areas," Kaur added.
It is "living hell", Kaur continued, with the noise level rising up to more than 70db throughout the day. "Yesterday, I called the police to get their machines moved, but they did not act," she said, adding that she underwent brain mapping because she was experiencing a nagging headache.
That’s when she learnt that her stress levels were high because of the noise assault.<br> <br>A senior citizen, who is also a stroke survivor, meanwhile, is complaining about severe wheezing issues because of the bad air quality, courtesy of the dust in the area.
Work from home is impossible, added Atul Gupta, an entrepreneur. "My work is suffering. My family is suffering. The only time we can relax is at night when these machines stop," Gupta said.
In a letter to the Chief Executive Officer of the New Okhla Industrial Development Authority, Uttar Pradesh, U.B.S. Teotia, President, Emerald Court RWA, pointed out: "The deeper digging near the existing buildings may cause slippage/movement of the earth below the foundation of the existing building and may harm the existing structure with no safety measures in place."
He added: "It has also been seen that presently the demolition work is going on without any technical supervision at the site, which is very dangerous.
"Moreover, the clearance of the site after demolition has been delayed abnormally, causing great inconvenience to the residents of Emerald Court which is against the MOM [Minutes of the Meeting] signed by Edifice, Supertech and the RWA.
"The site for the construction of the driveway was to be handed over to Supertech within 30 days by Edifice and Supertech was to construct and hand over the driveway within three months from the date of demolition."
Edifice Engineering is the company charged with the demolition and removal of the debris. The RWA president emphasised that "in spite of regular persuasion and continuous efforts with all (Noida, Supertech, Edifice), it is regretted that the work which was to be completed in 30 days has not been done till date, i.e. 13.12.2022 (even after th expiry of 90 days). Further, as estimated, the driveway cannot be handed over to us in another four or five months."
The RWA president concluded by saying: "The residents are in complete distress due to continuous noise, vibration and pollution for the last one year and are not able to sustain any further." He urged the Noida CEO to ask Edifice to stop digging further, level up the ground and hand over the site to the residents at once.
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