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Confusion looms large for residents of high-rises that allegedly obstruct the flight path around the Chhatrapati Shivaji International Airport (CSIA), after they were served notices by the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) recently, asking them to state the heights of their buildings. The residents demand clarification over the “technical language” used by the body to obtain information on the high-rises.
The safety body has identified close to 70 buildings that prove obstacles in the flight path. Representatives of these buildings have been directed to move out by August, so that work to reduce their height can be launched. According to the 2015-16 survey by the Mumbai International Airport Limited (MIAL), which manages CSIA, a total of 317 structures pose obstructions to the flight path. While the first batch of 70 buildings have been served evacuation notices after a hearing, more than 150 will soon be sent notices demanding their height details.
“In the personal hearings conducted in May and June, representatives of around 78 buildings were called for discussions on their compliance with height rules. We are verifying whether the other buildings too complied with height norms, their date of construction and other details,” a senior DGCA official said. Representatives of the 70 buildings claim they are confused over the details asked by the authorities, and furnishing wrong information could put them in the list of obstacles, they fear.
“As one example, they have asked us about the distance of our building from the aerodrome reference point. How are we to understand what that means?They have attached a gazette to explain it, but the language is difficult to comprehend,” Pradeep Ranade, secretary of Hanuman Ramanand Co-operative Housing Society, said. “We plan to seek help from technical experts who can guide us through the intricacies of the notice. They may be calculating the height of the building from the ground level or from the minimum sea level. Such nuances are important as any difference could cost us upper portions of our building,” Arun Ramani, resident of Aniruddh Co-operative Housing Society, said.
Residents believe any floor razing could affect the stability of the building. “Even if they demolish an antenna or a floor, the entire building could be affected. We should draft an official reply to the safety body very soon to raise our grievances,” Manoj Karambelkar, another resident, added.