Expressing displeasure over the proposed relaxation of height norms of buildings in the vicinity of the proposed Navi Mumbai International Airport, the Bombay High Court on Thursday asked the Airports Authority of India (AAI) to give details of the same.
A division bench of Chief Justice Dipankar Datta and Justice M S Karnik was hearing a public interest litigation (PIL) filed by advocate Yashwant Shenoy raising concerns over the dangers posed by high rises near the airport.
Shenoy argued that on one hand authorities had failed to control encroachment and obstacles near the Mumbai airport, and on the other, they were contemplating relaxing the height restriction from 55 metres to 160 metres in the vicinity of Navi Mumbai airport.
There was no single structure nearby the proposed Airport in Navi Mumbai. However, the moment the state declared to construct the airport there, several structures have started coming up, Shenoy pointed out.
Even before the airport work (at Navi Mumbai) is complete the buildings are going to be there, he said adding that it would only create obstacles around the airport.
Shenoy submitted a press note issued by the vice-chairman and managing director of the City & Industrial Development Corporation (CIDCO) dated July 30 this year. It commended the Union ministry of civil aviation, AAI and the directorate general of civil aviation (DGCA) for having agreed to grant no objection certificate for the construction of buildings within 20 kilometres radius of the proposed Navi Mumbai airport above the permissible height restriction of 55.1 metres.
The court asked Shenoy to submit this press note by way of an affidavit and to add CIDCO as a respondent to the PIL. It also asked AAI to file its reply by August 29.
“The AAI shall inform if any clearance or NOC was given to any application filed by a developer for construction of building above the permissible height limit of 55.1 metres till now. It shall also submit how many more such applications are pending for clearance,” the court said.
The court noted that DGCA, civil aviation ministry and the MIAL haven't filed any reply in this matter yet. “This shows their seriousness (of the authorities),” remarked CJ Datta.