Demolish or reduce height of 35 buildings around Mumbai airport, says high court
Mumbai city news: The court said the authorities could not sit back “waiting for an accident to take place”mumbai Updated: Jun 14, 2017 09:12 IST
The Bombay high court on Tuesday directed the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) to demolish or reduce the height of 35 buildings violating height norms around the airport, within three months.
A bench of justice VM Kanade and justice MS Sonak also said in case the DGCA fails to comply with the court’s order, the city collector must take the help of agencies concerned such as the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation and the Slum Rehabilitation Authority (SRA) and complete the demolition work.
The court said in the face of rampant violations of height norms by private developers, the authorities could not sit back “waiting for an accident to take place.”
These 35 buildings fall in the list of the 137 structures identified as “obstacles” in a survey conducted by the Mumbai International Airport Ltd and the AAI between 2010 and 2011.
While the DGCA is yet to complete formalities of final orders against the remaining obstacles, the owners, residents or developers of these 35 buildings were served with final orders last month, asking them to either voluntarily demolish or reduce the height or to face demolition by authorities.
On Tuesday, the DGCA informed the court that of the 137 such obstacles identified in the 2010-11 survey, 19 structures had already been demolished or reduced. It said 35 buildings referred to in the above order, had been served with final orders directing them to reduce their height, while 45 obstacles had NOCs from the Airport Authority of India (AAI) and thus, would be dealt with by that authority and the remaining 38 buildings/structures had been granted a personal hearing by the DGCA on June 15 and 16 this year.
The bench, thus, directed the DGCA to “communicate its final order” and complete all procedures related to the demolition/deduction of height of the remaining obstacles at the earliest.
The bench said the Ministry of Civil Aviation too must take a “serious note” of the height norms violations around the city airport, and state authorities must do something about the flat purchasers duped by developers into buying such flats that are in violation of norms.
The bench was hearing a petition filed by activist Yashwant Shenoy seeking action against all such structures around the airport that are in violation of the height norms.
On the previous hearing, it had also directed the DGCA to issue “final orders” for another 317 structures that were identified as obstacles in a survey between the years 2015 and 2016. The authorities are currently carrying out a “physical verification” for these buildings.
The HC is likely to take up the matter for further hearing on June 15.