Fugitive diamantaire Nirav Modi's posh bungalow on Kihim beach in Alibaug, Maharashtra was demolished through a controlled explosion with dynamites Friday by the office of the district Collector of Raigad.
The 33,000 square feet structure was brought down using dynamites from all possible points, the Raigad district administration said. The authorities had to struggle to bring the structure down by drilling into the thick concrete pillars of the bungalow and placing dynamite sticks in them as the foundation of the bungalow was very strong.
The demolition team also released a drone footage showing the palatial bungalow collapsing in a cloud of dust.The demolition follows a Bombay High Court order on a Public Interest Litigation (PIL) filed by non-profit Shamburaje Yuva Kranti in 2009 which demanded action against all illegal bungalows, hotels and resorts that violated the Coastal Regulatory Zone (CRZ) rules and other state permits.
As per the current market price, the making cost for the building could be around Rs 25 crore. The authorities had earlier failed to raze the structure with the help of excavators due to a superior quality construction material used in the building.
Reports suggest tiles and plaster were already removed so that pillars could be exposed to the explosion. The demolition process was executed under the supervision of additional collector Bharat Shitole, who has extensive experience in razing structures using blast, as reported by the Times of India earlier. Also known as 'Demolition Man' among his peers, Shitole has destroyed over 40 buildings using dynamites so far.
Nirav Modi, along with his maternal uncle Mehul Choksi, has been accused of defrauding state-owned Punjab National Bank of Rs 13,700 crore. The bungalow was part of the properties attached by the Enforcement Directorate (ED). Though the ED had objected to the demolition, the HC gave a go-ahead to the Raigad district collector to raze the building.
This was the same mansion where Nirav Modi used to host lavish parties of high-profile people, say reports. Earlier, the authorities had removed Nirav Modi's belongings from the building.
Nirav Modi had violated the CRZ rules by encroaching upon the area to build a bigger bungalow. He had not only carried out illegal construction in the CRZ zone but also created a garden outside his villa and between the beach, which is government land and falls in the CRZ zone.
Apart from Nirav Modi's bungalow, 14 other mansions will be razed by the Raigad authorities for the violation of coastal zone regulatory norms. Among the prominent bungalows that will be demolished include Jayant Mulujkar-owned Avani Agro Pvt Ltd and Shahzida Kundanmal.