Illegal slaughter houses and heaps of waste around the IGI airport resulting in the bird menace are giving sleepless nights to Delhi government officials preparing for the Commonwealth Games in the city.
"The fear of bird-hit incidents (of aircraft) at the airport has always been a problem. But with the sports extravaganza just round the corner when lakhs of tourists are expected to fly to the city, we are giving special focus to combat it," a senior Delhi Environment official said.
The issue was discussed at a meeting of the Airfield Environment Management Committee (AEMC) on August 4 in which officials raised concern about bird-prone areas and illegal slaughtering in Mangla Puri, animal waste and open garbage dumping in Nasirpur, Mangla Puri and R K Puram besides other sites near the airport. The IGI is said to be the most prone to bird hits among airports in the country, though regulations clearly state that no sewage or garbage should be allowed to accumulate within 10-km radius of it.
Delhi Environment Secretary Dharmendra, chairman of the committee, also noted that despite repeated reminders, the civic bodies have failed to tackle the menace. He said birds are entering the airspace over the IGI from technical area of IAF and nearby garbage dumping sites.
With respect to illegal sale of meat in nearby areas, MCD officials said that vending site allotment to them has been cancelled but accused the police of non-cooperation in taking on illegal meat sellers, the official said.
Delhi International Airport Ltd (DIAL) too blamed MCD for failing to remove garbage dumped near Manglapuri Bus Terminal despite several instructions in this regard in the past. Asking DIAL to install display boards with public message, Dharmendra also directed the MCD and police to book the offenders under the Aircraft Act, 1937 to dissuade people from throwing garbage in the open. With only 35 days left for the mega event, he asked them to intensify the drive and conduct 15-20 raids in a month to prevent illegal sale of meat and register cases against the offenders.