DGCA order sparks fear and loathing among residents of 70 buildings in flight path in Mumbaimumbai Updated: Jul 18, 2017 09:40 IST
A survey conducted by the Mumbai International Airport Ltd and the Airport Authority of India between 2010 and 2011 identified 137 structures and classified them as obstacles.(Pic for Representation)
Flat buyers who will lose their homes following the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) order to reduce the height of 70 buildings in the flight path of aircraft said they were being made scapegoats by the authorities.
They said on Monday that they had bought the apartments legally and blamed officials for not checking the rules while approving construction plans. Some of these structures were built around 50 years ago.
Jagdish Desai, secretary, Forum for Improving the Quality of Life in Suburbs, said the move was ill-advised.
“These people have used their life savings to buy these apartments and now they are being told that their houses are illegal. Residents are bearing the brunt of the mistakes authorities committed,” said Desai.
The 70 buildings are located in Vile Parle, Ghatkopar and Santacruz.
A survey conducted by the Mumbai International Airport Ltd and the Airport Authority of India between 2010 and 2011 identified 137 structures and classified them as obstacles.
A resident of one of the affected buildings at Santacruz said most of the residents in these buildings are senior citizens. “We bought the apartment in 1977 and after 40 years, we are being told that our house will be demolished. Imagine our shock on realising that we soon might not have a roof over our heads,” said the resident, who requested not to be named.
Even those who live on lower floors are worried. “Our entire building will be damaged if we demolish even one floor,” said a ground-floor resident of a Ghatkopar building affected by the order.
The DGCA initiated action based on a Bombay high court order which took serious note of the violations.
The court said after finding rampant violations of height norms by private developers, the authorities could not sit back “waiting for an accident to take place”.
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.