State backs defence forces’ stand on helipads in city | mumbai | Hindustan Times
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State backs defence forces’ stand on helipads in city

It seems unlikely that Mukesh Ambani will be able to take off from his rooftop helipad located over his South Mumbai ‘Sea Wind’ residence in the near future.

mumbai Updated: Dec 04, 2009 01:04 IST
HT Correspondent

It seems unlikely that Mukesh Ambani will be able to take off from his rooftop helipad located over his South Mumbai ‘Sea Wind’ residence in the near future.

A day after Vice Admiral Sanjeev Bhasin, flag officer commanding-in-chief of the western naval command, categorically ruled out granting permission for air operations from residential localities in south Mumbai, the government backed his claim.

“Our new helipad policy that is being framed will include a clause that makes it mandatory for any such clearance to get a no objection certificate from the defence forces, that includes the navy,” said T.C. Benjamin, principal secretary, Urban Development Department (UDD).

The policy that is being framed by the government needs to get several clearances from the UDD — for structural stability
of the building and seeing that it is atop a terrace or a cantilever-like structure.

It also makes it mandatory for such proposals to get civil aviation and environmental clearances. In case of areas like South Mumbai, where the helipad is located close to the coast, which are environmentally sensitive areas, it needs to get a nod from the Maharashtra Coastal Zone Management Authority for environmental clearances, in case it is located near the coast.

So does the statement from the Navy chief mean that no one will be given building permissions? “As per rules, we can give them a nod to build a helipad, but if they do not get clearance from the defence, they cannot use it,” it said.

Environment activist Sumaira Abdulali of Awaaz Foundation is happy about the development.

“Before giving the nod, authorities giving clearances should have considered the security aspect with many other aspects,” she said.