Bombay HC directs collector to remove 48 structures flouting aircraft rules

Published on Jul 29, 2022 04:37 PM IST

The structures consist of unauthorised floors and water tanks of high-rise buildings and other illegal structures that have come up on a hill near the airport

Mumbai airport. (HT File Photo)
Mumbai airport. (HT File Photo)
ByK A Y Dodhiya

The Bombay high court on Friday directed the Mumbai suburban district collector to initiate measures to remove the 48 structures that are apparently coming in the path of the aircraft flying in and out of the Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj International Airport and are in violation of the Aircraft Obstacle Rules.

The structures consist of unauthorised floors and water tanks of high-rise buildings and other illegal structures that have come up on a hill near the airport, coming in the path of approach surfaces of runaways.

The directions were issued by the high court after the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) filed an affidavit, stating that the district collector was responsible for removing obstacles such as buildings and trees that come in the flight path as per the rules.

The division bench of chief justice Dipankar Datta and justice Makarand Karnik, while directing the collector to comply with the final orders of the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA), also asked the collector to file an affidavit listing out steps that will be taken to raze the 48 structures by August 19. The matter will next be heard on August 22.

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Of the 48 stated obstacles, most structures have overhead water tanks that are above the permissible limit, which include the Airport Authority of India guest house, Vardhaman Puri, Shree Kunj and Govardhan buildings in Vile Parle (East), Harron Building and Farzaan Apartment in Kurla and Pushpanjali CHSL, Regal CHSL, Dheeraj Heritage, Sree Sai CHSL in Santacruz (West). The others include staircase and water pump rooms, the light of a mosque in Kurla and the hoarding atop Kingfisher House in Vile Parle (East). Unauthorised houses, huts, a mosque and a temple atop Jari Mari hill make up some of the other obstacles. Buildings violating actual height restrictions are around eight.

The above list was submitted by Mumbai International Airport Limited (MIAL) to the HC based on an obstacle survey conducted in 2010. MIAL had informed the court that it had furnished a list of 137 obstacles to the DGCA, which then conducted a hearing and thereafter passed the final order in 2017 for the demolition of 49 obstacles. The matter was therafter forwarded to the collector.

Senior advocate Vikram Nankani, representing MIAL, informed the bench that the number of obstacles to be removed came down to 48 after the Vile Parle Mahila Sangh school complied with the final order.

The court in its previous ruling had asked the collector and the BMC to inform it of the steps that were to be initiated for the demolition and removal of the obstacles.

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