Days after Union Environment Minister Jairam Ramesh clearly said he was opposed to private helipads on residential buildings in Mumbai, the state has asked the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation to change development control (DC) rules to allow helipads.
The proposal will come up in the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation’s (BMC) Improvements Committee meeting on Friday. Ramesh, in an exclusive interview to Hindustan Times on March 13, said, “There is no question of the MoEF [Ministry of Environment and Forests] giving permission for any kind of private helipads considering the implications it can have on noise, health and security.”
The proposal says the state has directed the BMC to incorporate rule number 71 about construction of private helipads atop buildings.
V. L. Joshi, chief engineer of the BMC’s Development Planning department, said, “It is obvious that the proposal will be rejected if the environment ministry does not allow it. A no-objection certificate from the Centre is necessary.” But if Ramesh’s words are any indication, a green signal to this is unlikely.
The proposal says a clearance from the Union Ministry of Civil Aviation is also mandatory.
A developer wanting to construct a helipad on a building must also get a clearance from the Maharashtra Pollution Control Board and ensure proper security measures, and get a building stability certificate before constructing the helipad.
The proposal also says the BMC can build a helipad atop a civic hospital for air ambulances and that the BEST Bhavan can also have a helipad provided the buildings, in both cases, are strong enough.
Once the proposal is passed in the Improvements Committee, it will be discussed in the BMC’s general body.
It will then be forwarded to the state government for clearance.
However, the MoEF will have the final say.