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Stop constructing high-rise buildings around Delhi’s IGI airport: HC

The Delhi high court was hearing a plea by Kerala-based advocate Yeshwant Shenoy, who claimed that high-rises, especially hotels near the IGI airport, were a major threat to security and safety of aircraft.

delhi Updated: Jul 31, 2018 15:22 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times, New Delhi
Delhi HC,IGI airport,SDMC
Construction of high­-rise buildings is not permitted within a radius of 20 km from the airport without permission from concerned authorities. (Vipin Kumar/HT PHOTO)

The Delhi high court on Monday directed the South Delhi Municipal Corporation (SDMC), Haryana Urban Development Authority (HUDA) and Noida Authority to ensure no further construction of high-rise buildings take place around 20 km of the Capital’s Indira Gandhi International Airport.

The court also directed the three authorities to make sure no more flats are bought or sold in the area concerned, bringing a stop to commercial transactions in such structures.

According to rules, construction of high-rise buildings is not permitted within a radius of 20 km from the airport without DIAL and DGCA’s permission.

A bench of acting Chief Justice Gita Mittal and justice C Hari Shankar expressed its displeasure on the failure of the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) and Delhi International Airport Limited (DIAL) to remove 365 obstacles that pose a threat to the security of aircraft taking off from or landing at the airport.

The court asked the authorities if they were concerned about people’s lives and their security and directed DIAL and DGCA to provide a list of the obstacles to the South corporation.

At an earlier hearing, DIAL and DGCA had informed the court that there were 365 obstacles around the airport, threatening the security of passengers.

However, speaking to HT, a DGCA official said on condition of anonymity, “We are yet to see the order. But we already have a set guideline for construction of high-rise buildings in the approach path of any airport of the country. Any construction cannot take place without the approval of the regulatory body and if there is any construction, then the agency concerned is directed to demolish it. Right now, the high-rise buildings around Delhi are not seen as a threat to the safety of the air passengers”.

The court was hearing a plea by Kerala-based advocate Yeshwant Shenoy, who claimed that high-rises, especially hotels near the airport, were a major threat to security and safety of aircraft.

During the proceedings, Shenoy told the court about ongoing construction of high-rise buildings. Following this, the court said occupation of such buildings would not be permitted until further orders.

The court also asked DIAL to issue public notices about the action such buildings can face if they violate norms. It directed the police to give protection to the authorities after DIAL’s counsel said they are threatened if they issue notices to builders.

Meanwhile, the All India Cabin Crew Association (AICCA) filed an application, alleging DGCA’s draft regulations on flight duty timings do not treat them on a par with pilots while assessing fatigue.

The application was admitted in a pending petition by Shenoy and the court issued notice to the authorities concerned. Both the matters would be now heard on September 20.

First Published: Jul 31, 2018 15:22 IST