The Bombay High Court, on April 12, 2017, ordered the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) and other agencies, to demolish or reduce the height of over 100 buildings that are in violation of norms near the city airport within two months. A division bench headed by justice VM Kanade said that the violators must be dealt with ‘ruthlessly’ as their buildings pose a major security threat and obstruct flight paths. “There is no point feeling bad for the developers of these buildings or its residents. The authorities cannot just sit and wait for an accident to occur,” justice Kanade said.
The Airports Authority of India (AAI) and the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) are among the other authorities, which will have to comply with the high court order. The Mumbai International Airport Ltd (MIAL) had, in a survey conducted between 2010 and 2011, identified 110 structures as obstacles. While the DGCA issued notices to the owners of such buildings or structures, it is yet to communicate its final order on the demolition/deduction of height of such structures.
Consequently, the court directed the DGCA to complete its process within the next two months. It also directed the DGCA to issue, within the next three months, final orders on demolition/deduction of height for another 317 structures that were identified as obstacles, in a survey between the years 2015 and 2016.
The bench was hearing a public interest litigation, seeking action against all such structures around the airport that are in violation of the height norms. The high court is likely to take up the matter for further hearing on April 27, 2017.