After the Director General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) told the Bombay High Court that safeguards have been put up and regulations followed, the Bombay High Court on Thursday disposed a public interest litigation (PIL) challenging the construction of overground Metro 2B corridor (DN Nagar to Mankhurd), passing through SV Road, in the vicinity of Juhu airport in Mumbai.
The court took on record a DGCA affidavit, which stated that Airport Authority of India (AAI) had itself reduced the distance of Take-Off Runway Available (TORA) to 645 m, after removing 487 m of the total 1,132-m runway.
Advocate Rui Rodrigues, representing the DGCA, submitted the affidavit filed on December 21 by Shruti Mishra, Deputy Director of Operations.
The affidavit said that though the TORA was reduced to 645 m, it was examined by the DGCA and approved as per established procedure.
It added that to ensure the safety of aircraft operation at the airport, the aerodrome operator was advised to carry put safety assessment. “Accordingly, safety assessment… was carried out by AAI and a report was submitted to DGCA on September 16. It is stated that the… report was examined by DGCA and… has been found in order,” the affidavit said.
Acting Chief Justice S V Gangapurwala and Justice S G Chapalgaonkar were hearing the PIL filed by Harit Desai, a social worker and Juhu resident.
The PIL, argued by advocates Nishant Thakkar and Jasmin Amalsadvala, had stated that the no objection certificate given by the AAI to the MMRDA to construct the Metro corridor did not take into consideration the “potential threat” posed by the overground route passing through an airport’s imaginary “funnel” zone – the approach path of a low-flying aircraft.
The plea had claimed the NOC was in violation of the Ministry of Civil Aviation (Height Restrictions for Safeguarding of Aircraft Operations) Rules, 2015.
While the HC had from time to time allowed the MMRDA to carry on preparatory works, including soil testing and utility identification of the site, it had till now said that no other work may be carried out without its prior nod.