By Accommodation Times Bureau
Mumbai:On hearing of the case of a PIL filed in Bombay high court; about the danger posed to aircraft by higher buildings near the airport; the Bombay high court biased in favor of flight safety. But it also wondered about the aftermaths of the residents of buildings that have proper license but will have to remain homeless in the procedure.
Despite the dilemma, the court said that Mumbai is a burgeoning city and even in case of increasing road traffic; the legal buildings have to get vanished to pave roads, same way people have to cooperate with the need and importance of flight safety and airport expansion.
“Because of so much of expansion of the airport and monsoon in Bombay (sic) which also affects aviation, even if all buildings had proper licenses but for safety, if (they were ) required to be demolished, what should be done?” questioned the bench headed by the Chief Justice.
On July 16 the Directorate General of Civil Aviation ordered 70 buildings in Vile Parle, Santacruz and Ghatkopar to reduce their height in 60 days to ensure safety of incoming and outgoing flights. Interestingly, the list of “obstacles” includes not just relatively new buildings, but quite a few two-storeyed ones built over 50 years ago and whose heights were cleared by the Airports Authority of India. Most new buildings have bigger portions to demolish as they are taller. The orders were issued on different dates in June and the deadlines would be in August.
The judges accused the builders and authorities that grant permissions , that they cannot plead ignorance as though people may not know about height restrictions pertaining to aviation safety, but builders and authorities should be aware.
“They can’t plead ignorance,” they said.
The court posted the next hearing on August 24, pleas of buildings; who were granted permissions earlier and now ordered to reduce their heights ; will be heard , and also of those seeking permission to increase the heights of buildings.
“Some of the buildings coming up would get affected,” said senior advocate Janak Dwarkadas, mentioning a developer setting up a project in Wadala, whose height has been trimmed from 139.9m to 95.9m. In the parting note the bench, reproached that the authorities must plan “for the next 50 years, not 10 years”.