The Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation will have to come up with a policy to ensure that the area in the vicinity of Mumbai airport remains garbage-free, in keeping with flight safety requirements.
This is what the Bombay high court ordered on Tuesday.
The division bench of Justice AS Oka and Justice AS Gadkari was hearing a petition, which said dumping near the airport attracts birds, resulting in bird-hits.
According to the aircraft rules as well as the development control regulations, meat shops, slaughterhouses and dumping waste is prohibited within a 10-km radius of the “aerodrome reference point”.
The petitioner, Datta Mane, visited 26 sites near the airport periphery.
On Tuesday, he produced in court several photographs showing the waste and dirt around. The BMC’s affidavit had claimed it was undertaking regular cleaning in the areas.
“The issue raised is of some importance,” said the court. “It is not possible to disbelieve the affidavit supported by several photos… The issue involved is of air safety of lakhs of passengers travelling by aircraft… It is obvious that the BMC will have to evolve a scheme to ensure compliance with [the laws].”
The court found the photos to be depicting “a sorry state of affairs”.
“A scheme will have to be evolved, providing for checks and counterchecks to ensure no collection of material prohibited by [the rules],” said the order.
The court directed that the municipal commissioner be apprised of the situation and that he depute an officer of the rank of additional municipal commissioner to ensure compliance with rules and place a scheme before the high court.
This will have to be filed before January 9. The matter will next be heard on January 14.