Chalet Hotels, a company promoted by real estate developers K Raheja group in Bengaluru, have decided to demolish seven floors of an already constructed 17-storey-building which was found to be in violation of norms, as per a recent Karnataka High Court order. The seven floors are part of a residential complex in Koramangala titled Raheja Vivarea Koramangala. The constructions were in violation of norms imposed by the government-owned Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd (HAL) on setting up high-rises within its aerodrome zone. This decision of settlement by Chalet brings an end to the seven-year litigation surrounding the matter which, in 2016, had interestingly turned into a disagreement between HAL and the Airports Authority of India (AAI).
According to height restrictions (as per Aircraft Act and Height Restriction for safeguarding of Aircraft Operation Rules) imposed by HAL, the total height of buildings has to be under 932 metres above main sea level (AMSL). HAL had cancelled the No Objection Certificate accorded to the builder as it exceeded the permissible height limit in 2013; subsequently, the builder went to the high court to challenge the cancellation of the NOC the same year.
At that time, residents of Koramangala 3rd Block had also backed HAL’s case, stating that their own safety was in jeopardy with regard to illegal constructions in the vicinity of HAL airport. They had earlier written to the then Defence Minister AK Antony too on the same. In 2011, Chalet claimed that the site was 870 AMSL and building height was 62 metres. However, the actual height where the site was, was 892.41 ASML; which, combined with the building height of 62 metres would have exceeded the 932 AMSL limit. After this came to light, HAL cancelled the NOC to the K Raheja Group. A court monitored survey by the Karnataka State Remote Sensing Application Centre (KSRSAC) established the HAL’s stand in 2013.
A bench of Justices Alok Aradhe and Vishwajith Shetty, on October 26, noted that “M/s Chalet Hotels Ltd, shall undertake demolition of already constructed structures above 932 metres Above Mean Sea Level (AMSL), and upon its completion, they will intimate the same in writing to Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd, and submit an application for issue of fresh No Objection Certificate ('height NOC for short), for construction/completion of the buildings on the scheduled property.”
The high court order also noted that Chalet Hotels has given undertakings not to seek any fresh surveys or aeronautical study on the subject nor allow any residents to occupy the building before the fresh NOC is issued after the demolition. This order by the court came after Chalet and HAL decided to settle the matter amicably recently on October 22. Earlier, in June 2020, the high court had imposed restrictions on the builder to not go into any sale agreements with potential buyers or other third parties.
Now as per the high court order, HAL has undertaken to issue an NOC within seven days of receiving the application, following the demolition of the extra storeys.