Sun, 06 Sep 2009 09:01:33 GMT

Helipad atop Ambani home despite environmentalists' objection

Mumbai: Brushing aside objections by environmentalists, a Maharashtra government panel has cleared the decks for construction of a helipad atop 'Seawind', the Ambani residence in cuff parade area of south Mumbai.

The Maharashtra Coastal Zone Management Authority (MCZMA), gave the go ahead to the proposal after the government made necessary amendments to the Development Control (DC) regulations last year to permit helipads on top of buildings, paving the way for the 'Seawind' helipad plan.

"The helipad has been granted clearance by the Authority," Environment Secretary Valsa Nair Singh told PTI.

Environmentalists had raised objections to the plan on the grounds that it would lead to violation of the provisions of the Environment Protection Act, 1986.

The MCZMA heard the matter on August 24 after which the proposal was cleared, Singh said.

At present, the captains of industry and top politicians have to use the helipad at Mahalaxmi racecourse for which The Royal Western India Turf Club (RWITC) has obtained permission from the BMC, but the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) has not allowed the use of the racecourse as a permanent helipad.

The Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority (MMRDA) has now proposed three heliports across Mumbai and Navi Mumbai.

According to sources, these are to come up at NCPA, the casting yard of the Bandra-Worli Sea Link and along Palm Beach Road in Nerul.

'Antilia', the 27-storeyed proposed house of Mukesh Ambani, billed as the costliest in the world at $ 2 Bn, will also have three helicopter launching pads.

The house is being constructed in an area of 4,00,000 Sq ft.

Source: PTI

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