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HindustanTimes Mon,21 Apr 2014

AAI move to review projects near Juhu airport worries homebuyers

Naresh Kamath, Hindustan Times  Mumbai, January 14, 2013
First Published: 01:49 IST(14/1/2013) | Last Updated: 01:50 IST(14/1/2013)

Rakesh Singh, a senior executive in a multinational company, repents investing Rs56 lakh in a flat in an under-construction building in Juhu.

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The building, which lies in the vicinity of the Juhu airport, is now under the scanner of the Airport Authority of India (AAI) and the no-objection certificate (NOC) issued to it stands the risk of being cancelled.

The AAI’s decision to begin using the secondary runway at the airport prompted it to reconsider the NOCs issued to 153 under-construction buildings.

Projects in the flight path or the vicinity of the airport need an NOC from the AAI before construction begins.

Initially, the projects were given a go-ahead by the AAI on the basis of a report that recommended the closure of the secondary runway. However, the report now stands null and void owing to objections from various agencies.

There are indications that the height of buildings may now be restricted and the permission to build up to 14 floors will be reduced to seven.

“Right now my concern is to get it my money back,” said Gulshan Ranawat, who had booked a flat in the area where houses cost between Rs24,000 and Rs30,000 a square foot.

The decision has also irked builders who said that they were hit hard by the decision, especially projects are already under construction.

“Although it is not our fault, we have to suffer. Bookings were done only after we acquired permissions from relevant authorities,” said Sunil Shah, managing director, Ankur Enterprises. Further, Shah said that the projects would become unviable if a new cap on the heights of the buildings is imposed.

However, housing activists said that the situation was complicated. “However, the onus is on builders to provide buyers what they had promised,” said activist and advocate, Vinod Sampat.

Despite repeated attempts, AAI officials were unable for comments.

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