IAF objects to highrises near RAW’s aviation branch

Thursday, February 3, 2011

NEW DELHI - The Indian Air Force has raised objections with the government over the construction of multi-storeyed buildings - part of the Aero City near the Indira Gandhi International Airport - being built near the aviation branch of the Research and Analysis Wing (RAW).

Air Force head Air Chief Marshal P.V. Naik told reporters here Thursday that the construction of multi-storeyed buildings like hotels near the Aviation Research Centre (ARC) complex was a “matter of concern”.

“This is a matter of concern to us. We have raised objection (with the government) over this,” Naik said at a defence function, answering queries about the construction and the rules that don’t permit raising any structures within 100 metres of military air bases and technical areas.

The ARC houses IL-76, AN-32 and Gulf Stream planes used to carry out surveillance operations.

Naik was speaking at an aerospace function. Minister of State for Defence M.M. Pallam Raju who inaugurated the function said the government would look into the objections raised by the IAF.

However, he said there was no need to overreact on the possibilities of any wrongdoings in the construction. “Let us not overreact. Wherever there is defence station and construction is coming around that vicinity, it can always be contained by invoking Works of Defence Act, 1903,” he said.

Raju said all these aspects would be “looked into by respective station commanders”.

“If there is any threat, they will bring it to the notice of the appropriate authorities.”

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