Even though the ministry of environment & forests (MoEF) decided that private rooftop helipads will not be allowed in the city, the civic improvements committee of the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) is likely to take its own decision on Wednesday.
Bhalchandra Shirsat, chairman of the committee and member of the BJP said, “We had received a proposal from the state, and were asked to give our opinion on the subject. Hence, we are duty bound to share our say with the state on this. Its up to the state, then, to take the final decision anyway.”
“There is no point dilly-dallying over the issue. Personally, I feel that we could allow private helipads if all our concerns are looked into, adequately. However, the committee will take a final decision independently,” he added.
The improvements committee has been debating the issue of allowing private helipads for more than three years now. Last time, when the issue came up for decision, the committee had deferred the decision citing environmental and security concerns.
Former committee chairman Manoj Kotak said, “We had concerns about the security aspect of allowing private helipads. Also, our views were concurrent with the views now expressed by the MoEF. However, a final decision will be taken hopefully, by tomorrow.”
Civic officials also said that a few city industrialists had written to the civic body, seeking permission to start the use of rooftop helipads and their demand had then led the civic body to take a policy decision about the issue.
The state government was initially in favour of allowing private helipads in the city but developed cold feet after the MoEF ruled against the same.
Now, even if the improvements committee takes the decision to permit private helipads, environmental regulations will prevent them from becoming a reality any time soon.