City anchor: Aviation ministry team to visit BKC, Wadala tomorrow

In what might pave the way for taller buildings in Bandra Kurla Complex (BKC) and Wadala, a civil aviation ministry team will visit the city on Friday to assess what the ideal height of buildings in the proposed business districts could be without blocking the flight path at the nearby Mumbai airport.

Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority (MMRDA) has been corresponding with the civil aviation ministry over the past year appealing for a relaxation in the height restrictions for buildings coming up in BKC and Wadala. The MMRDA, special planning authority for the two areas, has been trying to transform them into international business districts.

The present norms cap the height of buildings depending on their proximity to the airport runway to ensure that highrises do not interfere with radar signals or flight paths.

"The civil aviation team will come on Friday to survey the area here. The overall aeronautical study will not take long. The MMRDA has deposited Rs 2.5 crore for the study," said metropolitan commissioner Rahul Asthana.

"Depending on the location in BKC (proximity of the plot to airport) the maximum height permitted ranges between 45 and 90 metres," Asthana added. BKC falls within a four-km radius of the runway.

The height restriction is a problem as developers who are offered a global Floor Space Index (FSI) cannot consume the entire FSI and find it difficult to secure permission from the civil aviation authority to construct taller structures. MMRDA has nearly 160 hectares of built-up area remaining in the BKC and is aiming at full occupancy in ten years.

The development agency has held meetings with officials from Airports Authority of India, the civil aviation ministry and Mumbai International Airport Limited for several months, urging them to conduct such a study and showing its willingness to fund it.

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