Highrises near Airport Bombay H C seeks Safety Audit from AAI
Calling it a “very serious” issue, the Bombay High Court directed the Airports Authority of India (AAI) to produce the safety audit to see if norms related to heights of buildings in close vicinity of the Mumbai Airport were being followed.
Advocate Yeshwanth Shenoy, the petitioner, brought with him a thermocol model of buildings to demonstrate his case. The red markings on buildings’ crown, surrounded by clouds, demonstrated danger.
Through his PIL, he alleged lapses and callousness on the part of the AAI while granting permission for building construction around the Chhatrapati Shivaji International Airport (CSIA) and Juhu Airport. He said the efforts, during a catastrophe, will prove to be a futile exercise for the firefighters as Aviation fuel is highly combustible given the narrow lanes of slums around CSIA.
“Any hit on a tall building can cause catastrophe resulting in deaths of hundreds of thousands,” the PIL stated.
He added that in Mumbai, the Juhu airport is close to sea level, just about 4 metres above mean sea level (AMSL), whereas that of CSIA is about 11 metres AMSL. The PIL, therefore, said that the permissible height of the inner horizontal surface, above which buildings within a radius of 4 km around CSIA cannot protrude, is 56.27 metres AMSL and for the area within 2.5 km around the Juhu Airport is 49.87 metres AMSL. Shenoy alleged that it is due to the escalating demand for real estate around the 10 km radius of these Airports, a lobby of the developers have been trying all means to get more than the permitted heights.
“This lobby colluded with some top officials of the AAI and an Aeronautical study was instituted which gave birth to what is now the infamous Negi report of May 2011,” claimed the lawyer.