Free Press Journal

Mumbai: High Court pulls up DGCA over illegal buildings near airport


Mumbai: Pulling up Director General of Civil Aviation (DGCA), Bombay High Court on Thursday said the central authority cannot act like a “politician.” The HC directed DGCA to hasten proceedings against illegal structures near city’s airport that have violated the height norms.

A Division Bench headed by Justice Vidyasagar Kanade was hearing a PIL filed by advocate Yeshwant Shenoy. The PIL highlights the inaction of DGCA and Airports Authorities of India (AAI) over the illegal buildings near the city’s airport.

Justice Kanade said, “You (DGCA) cannot act like a politician. You are not expected to make everyone happy; your work is to ensure there is no threat near airport.”

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“It appears all these years, you were not aware of the gravity of this issue but you should do something now. We expect DGCA to pursue this matter with seriousness and not insist on technicalities,” Justice Kanade added.

The Bench was irked by DGCA’s submissions that the Mumbai International Airport Limited (MIAL) had not signed the verification documents of 319 illegal structures. The DGCA argued that it was the duty of the MIAL to hand over duly signed verification documents and only then it can pursue with the further proceedings.

Earlier this month, the Bench had directed AAI and DGCA to initiate demolition/height reduction proceedings against 417 such buildings.

Meanwhile, the petitioner informed the Bench that the authorities have granted permission to several developers to construct 14 to 15-storey buildings near the airport.