The Odisha government’s refusal to allow the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) to use the Balasore firing range has come as a blow for the testing of artillery ammunitions, a top DRDO official said here on Wednesday.
As reported by HT on Tuesday, the Odisha government has refused permission to Proof & Experimental Establishment (PXE)—a key DRDO facility— to test various types of ammunitions at the Balasore range as the defence ministry is wary about granting nod to four private port projects in the state.
DRDO chief VK Saraswat said, “We are in talks with the Odisha government to resolve the issue and trying to figure out if technological solutions can help ports and shells co-exist.”
Saraswat said testing of artillery ammunitions was the main problem being faced by the DRDO. He said the range, set up in 1895, was an ideal location for testing artillery.
The defence ministry has raised objections to the proposed private ports since they will be set up close to the Wheeler Island missile-testing centre in Bhadrak district and the Chandipur Interim Test Range of Balasore district.
Odisha government officials said they were trying to convince the defence ministry that the state’s interest should also be looked into. The PXE requires the state government's authorisation every three years to use the Balasore range.