The Mumbai International Airport Limited (MIAL) has given the civic body a list of 67 buildings and hundreds of slum tenements that it said are obstructing the take-off and landing paths of flights.
According to a detailed survey conducted by MIAL since 2012, these buildings — both residential and commercial — exceed the per missible height approved by the Airport Authority of India (AAI). It wants the BMC to take action.
The BMC has started a survey to find out the details of these violations, but civic officials said most of these buildings are up to three decades old and were given no objection certificates (NOC) by AAI at the time of construction.
Both MIAL and GVK officials are unclear about how the irregularities were caused.
“We need to find out if these buildings got NOCs or were not adhering to the conditions put forth by AAI,” said a civic source. The NOCs could have been issued on the condition the structure’s height should not go above a certain level.
A copy of MIAL’s list — first sent to the BMC in August — is with the Hindustan Times. The list has buildings mainly from the western suburbs, such as Vile Parle and Santacruz. Twenty of the buildings are also from the eastern suburbs, in areas such as Ghatkopar, Kurla and Chembur. These include a cinema hall, a school and a hospital.
“Many of these are two-or-three decade old buildings. The airport authorities should have woken up to this earlier,” said a civic official. However, an MIAL official said on the condition of anonymity, “We have been active about this issue since 2012 and have carried out a detailed survey, the result of which has now been presented to the civic body for appropriate action.”
The official said these buildings are a danger to flight movement. “They become a bigger problem during landings and take-offs and cause direct obstruction to flight paths. We have felt the need to take action against these buildings.”
The irregularities MIAL has listed range from a protruding water tank to a large part of the building’s top floor in many cases, according to MIAL’s survey. For instance, the school in one of the areas is nearly 60 feet higher than the permissible height, according to MIAL.
Although caught unawares, the BMC has initiated action. “We are now conducting a joint inspection with MIAL officials, of all structures listed to be having irregular heights. We will take a call on the action to be taken once the survey is over,” said Sitaram Kunte, BMC chief.