The Navi Mumbai Airport project will either be scrapped or tower in 20 km radius of the airport will go under the hammer, if the airport project is built. Terming, the Navi Mumbai airport project an environmental, safety and financial disaster, Kerala lawyer Yashwant Shenoy says that the project should not be built at all.
For those unaware of who he is, Yashwant Shenoy is the same lawyer whose PIL against the airport in Mumbai forced the aviation regular to issue demolition notice to over 100 buildings in Vile Parle, Santacruz, Ghatkopar and Kurla.
· AVIATION SYSTEM IN INDIA HAS COLLAPSED
Advocate Yashwant Shenoy began his mission to make airports safe in 2010 after the Mangalore air crash. On May 22, an Air India Express Flight 812 from Dubai to Mangalore overshot the runway on landing, impacting an illegal structure, after which it caught fire. Of the 160 passengers and six crewmembers on board, only eight survived; it was the third deadliest aviation disaster in India. That was the starting point. From then on, he dug out documents which proved that the aviation system in not just Mangalore, but in India has collapsed.
· THE CHALLENGES TO MAKE AIRPORTS SAFE
The journey has been challenging to say the least. When he started his research and came to know of the dangers that obstacles posed at the Mumbai airport, he was accused of making unnecessary allegations.
He says that even though he is fighting for the lives of people across cities, no one is supporting the intention. Today he faces a financial crunch as well.
The situation is so grave that within that within a period of three years the obstacles increased by 300 in number.
· ANY AIR DISASTER WILL BE WORST THAN BHOPAL GAS TRAGEDY
Sharing an insight on the how dangerous towers and buildings or illegal construction pose for the Mumbai airport, and in future for the Navi Mumbai airport he says that the smallest of obstacle like a TV antenna in any home can cause the disaster that can cost 1000s of lives not just within an aircraft but outside as well.
In the proposed Navi Mumbai airport as well, towers have already come up and many more of as high as 40 storeys have been announced. Explicating the danger that looms large, Adv Shenoy says that it takes 6 seconds for an aircraft to crash into a 20 meters building in 6 meters radius from runway and the disaster will be worst than the Bhopal Gas Tragedy.
· THE CASE OF THE ‘MURKY’ NAVI MUMBAI AIRPORT
The Navi Mumbai airport is the most murkier of airport he has researched so far says Adv Shenoy. He has questioned the role of CIDCO of overlooking safety concerns.
He says that architects and builders are aware that the common buyers of properties in the vicinity stand the chance of their homes being demolished but they continue to fool buyers into buying.
He says that people don’t realize but courts are duty bound to save lives and hence he expects the court to intervene in the proposed Navi Mumbai airport project.
According to him either the airport will not be or towers will be demolished.
· IT’S A PEOPLE’S FIGHT
Its not a fight against the powerful builders lobby or authorities, it’s a people’s fight says Adv Shenoy.
He questions if everyone is waiting for an aircraft to come down to act.
He says that everyone can get back a home, but can anyone return a life lost?
In Mumbai the action requires action against people already living in homes that pose danger to air safety but the Navi Mumbai airport project is still in a proposal state. The PIL by petitioner Yashwant Shenoy puts a question mark on the big projects of several builders. Paradise group’s ambitious projects like Sai World Empire, Sai Mannat, Sai World City, Shah Group’s Shah Kingdom, Matathon group’s Nexzon, India Bulls and Arihant group projects are to be hit. Meanwhile buyers should remain vigilant lest they will be fooled into buying homes that will either be demolished in the long run or will continue to be like atom bombs ready to explode at any unfortunate moment, claiming thousands of lives of innocent buyers and air travelers. Zeba Warsia – NMTV