MUMBAI: The Bombay High Court pulled up the Airports Authority of India (AAI) on Friday while hearing an application seeking permission for installing overhead cables for a Metro rail project near the Juhu airport.
The division bench of Justices SC Dharmadhikari and Bharati Dangre also made a reference to the private plane that crashed into Ghatkopar area. "This is the airport from where the plane had taken off. The permission you seek is in the funnel area of the airport. The AAI has to take responsibility," it said, posting the matter for hearing after a week and directing the authority to file its reply.
The Mumbai Metropolitan Regional Development Authority (MMRDA) had moved the application seeking a No-Objection Certificate (NOC) for constructing an overhead wire for the Metro 2-B project.
MMRDA counsel SB Talekar informed the court that the AAI gave NOC, subject to permission from the court, on March 23.
The court private planes and helicopters take off and land frequently at the Juhu airport. "Several ONGC workers go from there... The infrastructure is weak...we are taking a risk. We (the court) will not be a party to any relaxation of norms. Let the authority take it, we don't wish to be party to all this," it said.
The judges rapped the AAI, saying the matter should not be left to the court, "If you do so, then we will take away your authority to sanction."
Meanwhile, there were reports that Maharashtra CM Devendra Fadnavis had survived a mid-air scare and the helicopter belonged to the same aviation firm whose plane crashed at Ghatkopar on Thursday. The company's website is down and the office too was found closed. Congress leader Radhakrishna Vikhe-Patil demanded the arrest of Dipak Kothari of the UY Aviation Pvt Ltd., and asked why was the firm not blacklisted when the company's helicopter was involved in Fadnavis' mid-air scare.