The Bombay High Court on Thursday directed the Directorate General Civil Aviation (DGCA) to act against 112 buildings that are flouting height restrictions around the international airport and pose obstacles in the flight path.
A division bench headed by Justice VM Kanade also directed the DGCA, Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) and Airports Authority of India (AAI) to initiate and complete the process of issuing notices to and demolition of “all objects including buildings, poles, antennas, etc,” that violate height norms and pose a security threat to the fliers.
The directive came while the bench was hearing a public interest litigation (PIL) seeking action against buildings violating height norms around the airport.
“In terms of any violation with respect to the funnel area, prompt action will have to be taken as per law. Appropriate action should also be taken against those who are responsible for such violations. We direct the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) to complete the exercise of issuing notices to all 112 owners and all other procedure within three months,” said Justice Kanade.
Earlier, during the hearing, the bench was informed by the petitioners that the appellate authority for height clearance, headed by joint secretary of Ministry of Civil Aviation, was “not adhering to the norms laid down in terms of approving floor space index (FSI)” around the airport area and was allowing concession in the restrictions even in the crucial ‘funnel zone’ that is the line of the aircraft take-off and landing site.
“The appellate authority should not exercise any discretion while dealing with the funnel area and no aeronautical surveys should be carried out and no concessions should be granted in the funnel area,” the bench said.
The HC also directed planning authorities such as the civic, Slum Rehabilitation Authority (SRA), Maharashtra Housing and Area Development Authority (MHADA) to refuse no-objection certificates (NOCs) to new buildings that violate height norms.
During the last hearing, the court had directed civic body to initiate demolition of a private residential building near the international airport runway, as per law, over several violations including height and to register a first information report (FIR) against the developer of the project within the next 48 hours. The court on Thursday directed the BMC to ensure that demolition action is initiated and has asked photos to be filed in this regard. It also asked the civic body BMC to mark out the Inner Horizontal Surface — the highest point on the usable landing area- of the airport in the new draft Development Plan.