Corporators in the city have come together to oppose the state governments proposal to allow construction of helipads on residential buildings. Stating that a helipad is only for the benefit of rich and influential businessmen,corporators have said landing and taking off of choppers will only spell trouble for residents of buildings where construction of helipads has been proposed. Even hospitals have sought permission for construction of helipads,which,corporators feel,will create problems for the patients.
Acting on the states directives,the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation had proposed amendments of the Development Control rules that will allow choppers to take off and land on the terraces of housing complexes. However,members of the Improvement Committee opposed it vehemently and deferred any decision. They have asked the civic administration to come up with detailed information on the effects of helipads on the residential complexes.
Shiv Sena member Manmohan Chonkar said allowing the construction of a helipad will result in noise pollution. People staying in the housing society will suffer due to the constant noise pollution created by the landing and taking off of a chopper. It will also create problems for the neighbouring societies and people residing there, he said.
Members also said the amendments had been created keeping the rich industrialists and businessmen in mind. The helipads will only benefit the industrialists. Issues of security and structural stability will also arise before permissions are given, he said.
Amongst those who have sought permissions for the construction of a helipad is Asian Heart Institute Hospital in Bandra. Corporators said a helipad on a hospital building will only disturb the patients and no permission should be given for its construction.
According to the guidelines,a helipad can be built in the FSI free rooftop terrace or cantilever structure at the height of 4.5 metre above the ground level and not result in any kind of air pollution. Permissions from Civil Aviation Ministry and Director General of Civil Aviation,Maharashtra Pollution Control Board and Environment Department will be mandatory.
A structural audit of the building will be mandatory to determine the strength of the structure and the helipad area along with necessary fire fighting measures. The chopper can be used only for taking off and landing and not for filling fuel.
The amendment will help the rich and influential people to come up with their own private helipads and also regularise industrialist Mukesh Ambanis helipad atop his South Mumbai residence. He was fined Rs 29 lakh as the DC rules then did not allow for construction of a helipad in residential structures.
Nod to hike FSI
The committee approved the proposal to hike the floor space index (FSI) from 2.5 to 4 of cessed buildings. The BMC will now modify development control rules to allow lofts and mezzanine floor area to be included while calculating FSI for a tenement. The proposal will act as an incentive for tenants and facilitate the redevelopment of about 19,000 old buildings in the island city.