The city’s first ever residential helipad, atop the 19th storey home of the Ambani family at Sea Wind in Cuffe Parade, may soon be a reality. But final approval for this Rs 4-crore helipad rests with the area’s residents.
The helipad had run into rough weather last year after the Ministry of Environment and Forests (MOEF) stayed its approval asking the developers, Ruchi Properties Private Limited, to seek approval under Coastal Regulatory Zone norms.
The developers have got all other requisite approvals like from the Directorate General of Civil Aviation and fire brigade. The environment department issued a public notice seeking objections and suggestions for the helipad this month as it has got all environmental clearances.
The notice sought suggestions within 15 days.
“We have published the notice in advance to give residents time to react,’’ said environment secretary Valsa Nair.
Earlier, Cuffe Parade Residents Association had objected to this plan pointing to noise pollution in the area.
The application for the helipad has assured that the helipad meets with all the noise mitigation measures: the helicopter has noise reduction technology like hush kits, there would be no night take-offs or landings, the aluminium heli deck would act as a shield deflecting the noise.
The developers have also sought permission saying that though this was for private non-commercial use, it could be used for crunch situations like fire or terrorist attack. “The infrastructure created could be utilised for any emergency evacuation.”
This is unlikely to win over residents. SM Jagtiani, vice president of the residents’ association said: “We don’t back this helipad, we have put across our concerns. But, I don’t want to elaborate as such a powerful industrial house is behind it.”