On Thursday around 45 occupants of buildings that are obstructing the flightpath at Mumbai’s Chhatrapati Shivaji International Airport were asked to vacate within a month by the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA). The Bombay High Court had earlier directed the DGCA to take action against obstacles in the flightpath immediately, following which a one-member body comprising the Joint Director General, DGCA, was constituted. G S Rawat had conducted the phase I of the hearing on Thursday and he told The Indian Express that “We have directed the eviction of residents from buildings that lack No Objection Certificate (NOC) from the Airport Authority of India (AAI).”
In his reaction, Shailesh Tipane, who is a resident of Ganesh apartments in Vile Parle, one of the affected structures said, “They started to bombard us with legal procedures and requirements, which they must meet to fulfill the court’s orders. Though we tried to present our side, our cries fell on deaf ears.”
Aviation officials said that many buildings had ‘hindrance’ like water tanks, terrace staircases or TV antennas. A senior DGCA official added, “We have informed the residents of the particular obstacles and asked the same to be razed”.
Hemant Parsalkar, resident of New Sarvoday building, who has also been asked to vacate his premises said, “We have decided to go as a team to the authorities and inform them of our right to stay. We hope they understand… as shifting to another place is not feasible.”
A survey was done between 2015 to 16 to identify structures which pose as obstacles in the flightpath. And the issue of buildings with height-related problems not getting clearances was in the Bombay High Court. The court had directed the DGCA to take action against 115 such highrises last week, Indian Express reported. DGCA guidelines state that the ratio of the height of a structure to its distance from the airport must be 1:7. DGCA was also asked to issue final order of demolition and reduction of height of around 317 structures within the next three months.