Cut to size by Doppler radar,developers write to state govt

Following the July 2005 deluge,the state government had decided to set up the Doppler radar,which offers advanced weather warnings and predictions and is capable of weather surveillance up to 400 km.

Written by Sharvari Patwa | Mumbai | Published:August 27, 2013 12:58 am

A group of developers has written to the state government against a two-year-old rule that says any proposal for a high-rise within a 10-km radius of the Doppler radar fitted atop a 18-storey building in Colaba’s Navy Nagar must get a mandatory clearance from the Indian Meteorological Department (IMD),which disallows vertical growth beyond 80 metres in the region.

Following the July 2005 deluge,the state government had decided to set up the Doppler radar,which offers advanced weather warnings and predictions and is capable of weather surveillance up to 400 km. It has been fitted atop Archana building in Navy Nagar to read signals,pictures and predict weather patterns.

With several of their projects in trouble because of the IMD’s ceiling,a group of developers under the banner of Property Developers Association (PRA),which has over 17,000 members including landlords and tenants,have now approached the state government to do away with the mandatory non-objection certificate (NOC) from IMD for high-rises.

“The mandatory NOC from IMD caps the height of buildings at 80 metres,which will affect development and construction activity across the island city. Construction of more than 45 high-rise buildings is set to be affected by this clause,” said Pujit Aggarwal,CEO of Orbit Corporation and general secretary of Property Developers Association. “In a city which only has the option of going vertical,one cannot force such a clause,which is bad in law and restricts height of buildings although there is no such clause in the development control regulations (DCR) of the BMC,” said Aggarwal.

The IMD’s proposal for another Doppler radar in the suburbs has only added to their concerns.

S G Kamble,director of Doppler radar at IMD,however,said the plan was in its preliminary stage. “We will try to ensure the radar is be installed at a height that does not affect high-rise construction”,he said.

Meanwhile,BMC’s high-rise committee has cleared 62 building proposals until June 2013 this year,which is more than five times the number of proposals it cleared between June 2012 and December 2012. The committee had received a total of 76 proposals until June this year and a majority of these were for buildings with more than 40 storeys,mostly in eastern suburbs and the island city,civic officials said.

The committee is responsible for clearing building projects with a height of more than 70 metres or of around 22 storeys. The committee,first formed in 2004,is reconstituted every three years and is currently in its third term.

The projects that the committee has cleared in the past six months include some premium ones by prominent builders like Lodha Developers,Omkar Builders,Nirmal Lifestyle,Orbit Corporation,Runwal Developers,HBS and Rajesh Lifespaces.

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