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HomekarnatakaNear Bengaluru aerodrome, getting NOCs a tall order

Near Bengaluru aerodrome, getting NOCs a tall order

Bengaluru: Bureaucratic red tape over giving clearance to high-rises located in the buffer zone of the Jakkur Aerodrome has left thousands of homebuyers in the lurch.

At least 62 residential projects have been awaiting No Objection Certificates (NOCs) from theDepartment of Youth Empowerment and Sports, which runs Bengaluru’s only dedicated general aviation field at Jakkur.

Asper the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) rules, no vertical structures taller than 45 metres are permitted within a 5-km radius of an aerodrome. The builders claim they meet the height criteria but the aerodrome has been sitting on their applications for nearly a year now.

The departmentis going slow because it fears some builders may try to mislead it by giving wrong longitude and latitude details in order to bypass the height restrictions. It has now asked theKarnataka State Remote Sensing Applications Centre (KSRSAC) to survey each building and submit a report.

Department Commissioner Shashikumar N acknowledged the problem. According to him, the delay was caused by the time taken to prepare colour-coded zone mapping for the funnel area —air space clearance from the flight take-off area.

“The Airports Authority of India (AAI) approved a colour-coded zone mapping for the funnel area a few days ago. The Karnataka State Remote Sensing Applications Centre (KSRSAC) will now survey each building to verify whether it meets the height requirements and submit a report,” he toldDHwithout giving any timelines.

The reason why the KSRSAC has been roped in is to ensure builders don’t “fool around” the height rules by giving inaccurate longitude and latitude, he said.

“Some applicants may give the location of a road or individual dwelling and claim it as their building. The KSRSAC will visit the spot and do a physical verification,” he said.

Shashikumar stressed that no building had been given an NOC in the last 8-10 years.

While KSRSAC Director Dr DK Prabhuraj did not respond to phone calls and text messages seeking comment, an official in the BBMP’s town planning department said the Jakkur aerodromehad been “outrightly” denying approvals for the last 6 to 8 months.

The denials mainly cover the 2.7-km radius of the aerodrome. “Some builders have questioned this, arguing that such buildings already exist in this buffer zone. We will talk to the government once the aerodrome completes the survey,” the official added.

According to the official, the aerodrome is applying two yardsticks while evaluatingapplications related to NOCs. One pertains to the distance between the funnel area (2.7 km) and the second, about the maximum height.

“The aerodrome asked us to demolish 8-9 buildings that did not comply with these guidelines. After we issued notices, these builders reduced the height to comply with the norms,” he said.

A reputed builder who spoke on the condition of anonymity said several developers had been waiting for more than nine months to get the required NOC from the aerodrome. Without this NOC, the BBMP will not grant the occupancy certificates.

“Officials cite different reasons, including non-availability of equipment to measure and certify the height of buildings, for not giving the NOCs. Despite all other clearances being in place, and the developers not violating any rules, thousands of homebuyers are being made to wait,” the builder said.

One of the affected homebuyers said a two-bedroom flat that he purchased in Sampigehalli had been ready since April 2023 but he hadn’t been able to move in because of the stalemate.

“The builder says the aerodrome isn’t giving the NOC but these things should have been sorted out in the beginning itself. Why make people suffer,” he said.

Jakkur Aerodrome is a general aviation field in Bengaluru.

It houses the Government Flying Training School (GFTS). As per DGCA rules,buildings locatedwithina 5-km radius of the aerodrome require NOC to ensure they are not taller than 45 metres.

The aerodrome hasn’t given NOCs to buildings in 8-10 years because there was no colour-coded zone mapping, which stipulatesair space clearance from the flight take-off area.

The colour-coded zone mapping has been prepared now. A survey will now cover individual buildings in the funnel area and certify whetheror not they meet the heightrequirement.

Officials believe some builders may give inaccurate longitudeand latitude togetclearance

(Published 22 October 2023, 20:55 IST)

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