Bombay high court refuses to relax height restrictions for buildings near Mumbai airport
The HC, however, agreed to explore whether there is a need to allow for a new aeronautical study on the height of buildings near the airportmumbai Updated: Mar 24, 2017 00:20 IST
The Bombay high court (HC) on Thursday said that it will “not allow for any relaxation of the height restrictions for buildings in the vicinity of the airport runway.”
The HC, however, agreed to explore whether there is a need to allow for a new aeronautical study on the height of buildings near the airport.
A bench of justices VM Kanade and AS Gadkari also permitted the Airport Authority of India’s (AAI) panel to consider applications seeking construction or modifications of buildings in the vicinity of the airport runway, or its ‘inner horizontal surface,’ but directed the panel to not take any final decisions until the court “fully examines the issue.”
The bench was hearing a public interest litigation (PIL)
seeking action against all such structures around the airport that are violating the height norms.
Earlier this month, a private real estate developer had moved court after the AAI refused to even consider its plea to add three additional floors to its under-construction 12-storey building in Bandra that falls in the inner horizontal surface—a radius of four kilometres around the airport.
The developer had said that even after the proposed addition of the three floors, the total height of the said building will not be in violation of the prescribed height norms.
However, since, in a previous order, the high court had issued an embargo upon any new applications, the AAI was refusing to even consider the case.
On Thursday, the authorities also brought to the court’s notice the lack of a uniform mechanism to measure the height of all buildings near the airport and to decide upon their eligibility.
The petitioner submitted that while the height of all such buildings must be measured with reference to the ‘mean sea level’ and that the international civil aviation regulations must be prescribed to in doing the same, the “AAI had unilaterally changed some rules.”
AAI however, said that it was bound by the Ministry of Civil Aviation’s rules and was following the same.
The bench, thus, directed the AAI, the Ministry, and all other stakeholders to submit a list of the current regulations that the authorities prescribe to while deciding upon the height norms around the Airport.
HC is likely to take up the matter for further hearing next week.