Mumbai: In a big relief for the development of the Navi Mumbai International Airport, the realty sector and project-affected persons (PAP), the Airports Authority of India (AAI) has announced a relaxation in height restrictions around the airport. This will lead to faster development of projects while the PAPs will benefit as their lands are involved in huge transactions. This move also means that individual applications for height clearance will have to be made to AAI.
The City and Industrial Development Corporation (CIDCO), the nodal agency for the Navi Mumbai airport, said that the Airports Authority of India has approved shifting of the site of the airport surveillance radar 1 (ASR1) to Dhakale Island from the present site near DPS Nerul. This would resolve several issues that had arisen from height restrictions since 2018. The decision was jointly taken at a meeting between senior officials of the Union ministry of civil aviation (M0CA), GoI, AAI, CIDCO, NMIAL and IE-AECOM on July 22.
CIDCO vice-chairman and managing director Sanjay Mukherjee said, “AAI has agreed to commence the grant of height NOCs for buildings with a planned elevation of more than 55.10m above mean sea level (AMSL) and up to 160.10m AMSL based on obstacle limitation surface (OLS) criteria as per guidelines specified by DGCA India.
“Earlier, the AAI had restricted the grant of height NOCs only up to 55.10m AMSL, for all projects within a 20km radius of the Navi Mumbai International Airport (NMIA) since February 2020, to avoid the creation of possible obstacles within the NMIA airspace.” He further added that “the approval will speed up development in the region as town-planning authorities in Navi Mumbai and NAINA (Navi Mumbai International Airport Influence area) were facing difficulties in granting construction approvals and OCs for various residential and commercial projects planned/ completed/ under progress for more than two years now.”
Mukherjee said that the AAI was likely to commence the new NOC process by the first week of August 2022. Applicants will have to apply to the AAI to seek permissions for structures above 55.1m AMSL. “This citizen-friendly decision will pave the way for the smooth development of the Navi Mumbai International Airport, complementing the growth of not just the surrounding NMIA area but the entire MMR region as a whole,” he claimed.
ANAROCK Chairman Anuj Puri said that the relaxation in height restrictions around the NMIA resolves the uncertainties which had beset the airport’s catchment area. “The height relaxation will lead to faster development and the completion of projects in this critical zone and allow developers to fully utilise the floor space index. This will lead to better profitability for builders and also improved revenue collections for the state government exchequer,” he observed.
According to Natconnect (an environment-focused NGO) director B N Kumar, “It is a good development and clears a lot of air, literally, for the development of real estate projects around the NMIA. However, CIDCO must care for mangroves and wetlands while leasing out plots. We are not against development but it must be balanced with environmental protection.”
According to Haresh Chheda, president of the Builders Association of Navi Mumbai, a long-pending demand of the city developers had been fulfilled and “now we will see high-rises as seen in Mumbai in Navi Mumbai. Fifty-storey buildings can now be developed in Navi Mumbai,” said Chheda.