The sprawling seaside mansion of fugitive diamantaire Nirav Modi, accused in the USD 2 billion PNB fraud case, was demolished Friday using explosives, Raigad District Collector Vijay Suryawanshi said.
Republic accessed the drone footage of his mansion being torn down from a bird's eye view with 110 dynamites and detonators in pillars, a total of 30 kilos of explosives.
In the video it can be seen how a luxurious sea-facing mansion settled amid lush green landscape, is brought down to mere dust. The drone captures multiple angles of the demolishing bungalow, followed by a cloud of dust that smothers the air.
The district collector told PTI that it was controlled blasting.
The senior IAS official had issued the demolition orders after the Enforcement Directorate (ED) handed over the property situated in Raigad district, over 90 km from here.
On Tuesday, excavators were used to opening up the pillars of the bungalow, called Roopanya, to make space for fixing the detonators. A special technical team was called to fix them.
Last year, the state government had written to the ED, which had sealed the bungalow, seeking a nod to demolish the property on Kihim beach near Alibaug.
The fixtures from the bungalow will be up for auction. Three items, a Jacuzzi, a chandelier, and a Buddha statue, have been kept aside for handing over to the ED, Suryawanshi said.
On January 25, district officials began the demolition work using bulldozers but found it time-consuming due to the RCC construction.
On January 27, structural engineers from Dr Babasaheb Ambedkar Technical University conducted a survey. The experts suggested that the district officers carry out the demolition with the help of controlled blasting.
Modi's bungalow was attached by the ED following his involvement in the Punjab National Bank fraud case. It was handed over to the collector's office on January 24, after the ED seized two trucks full of valuables from the building.
The bench was hearing a petition filed by activist Surendra Dhavale seeking demolition of unauthorised constructions along the coast in the Alibag area. Bungalows and other structures have mushroomed in the area in violation of the Maharashtra Coastal Zone Management Authority rules and the state's land laws, the petition said.
The high court had last year ordered the collector to demolish unauthorised structures. Nirav Modi has fled the country.
(With PTI inputs)