Thursday, January 20, 2022

Bombay HC asks Civil Aviation Ministry to submit report on construction of metro near Juhu airport

Mumbai: The Bombay High Court has asked Rajiv Bansal, Secretary at Ministry of Civil Aviation to file a report on an issue raised by a petition concerning Juhu airport in Mumbai and the construction of metro rail around it.

The petitioner, Harit Vipinchandra Desai, had filed a writ petition stating that the Airports Authority of India (AAI) had issued a No-Objection Certificate (NOC) in favour of the Mumbai Metropolitan Regional Development Authority (MMRDA) to construct an overground metro rail line within the Funnel Zone to the East of the approach and take off climb surface of runways 26 and 08, respectively, of Juhu airport.

This NOC, according to Desai, was ex-facie contrary to the Ministry of Civil Aviation (Height Restrictions for Safeguarding of Aircraft Operations) Rules, 2015. Desai’s concern was that the provisions relating to “height clearance” had been observed in the breach by the AAI and the decision to issue the impugned NOC was not lawful.

Desai claimed that if the metro rail line work is allowed to be commissioned by the MMRDA, there is a possibility of an accident of an aircraft arriving at or departing from Juhu airport.

Desai prayed for the NOC to be quashed and the metro rail line work stopped.

During the hearing, the Advocate General told the division bench headed by Chief Justice Dipankar Datta that all the necessary permission and expert opinions had been taken and only then had the plan been given the go ahead. However, the bench was of the opinion that, since they are not experts to say whether what Desai was stating was right or wrong, they only wanted to first understand the matter and secondly see if due procedures had been followed.

20/01/22 Vidya/India Today

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