“It seems that passenger safety is of no priority to you,” the Bombay High Court’s told Airports Authority of India (AAI) and Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) as it rapped them for failing to ensure safety of air passengers and those living around airports.
A division bench of justices V M Kanade and M S Sonak directed the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation to initiate demolition of a private residential building near the international airport over height regulation violations.
The court also directed the civic body to register FIR against the developer of the project within 48 hours.
The court, which was hearing two PILs on the issue of highrises coming up around the airport, issued notices to the Director General of DGCA and Chairperson of AAI.
According to the petition, one building has been constructed very close to the boundary wall of the international airport and overlooks the runway. While the DGCA had permitted construction up to 19 metres, the said building is 34 metres high.
The high court also asked AAI and DGCA to conduct an immediate internal inquiry into the action taken in the past one year over navigation issues faced by aircraft due to unauthorised construction.
“You are waiting for accidents to happen. You can never take preventive action. Look at what happened in Mahad. The state has woken up only now to the need to survey all old bridges. It seems that passenger safety is of no priority to you,” the bench said.
The court has posted the petitions for hearing after two weeks.