The Ministry of Civil Aviation has finally stepped in to check the spiraling number of bird-hit incidents at the Indira Gandhi International Airport.
In a meeting on Wednesday, Civil Aviation Secretary Ashok Chawla directed airport operator Delhi International Airport (P) Ltd. to adopt the best practices to deal with the bird menace.
In a series of reports, Hindustan Times had highlighted the inadequate measures taken by DIAL to control bird activity and also the problem of illegal slaughterhouses and garbage dumps near the airport that attract birds.
There already have been more than 40 bird-hit incidents this year at the IGI Airport.
Incidents of birds hitting aircraft during landing and take-off has increased in the past months, especially because of the monsoon.
During monsoon, the grass near runways grow quickly and provide shelter for birds to nest and perch. Insects and rodents also come out of their holes during rains, which attracts birds of prey.
Bird-hits can cause engine failure and ground the aircraft. While in most recent cases, the aircraft have not suffered great damage, an Air Mauritius flight last month had caught fire and passengers had to be evacuated.
At the review meeting, it was decided that illegal slaughterhouses in the airport’s vicinity needed to be shut down and a more organised waste disposal mechanism needed to be put in place, a ministry statement said.
The ministry has identified six locations abetting this problem—Dwarka, Indira Market in R.K. Puram, Mehram Nagar, Sadar Bazar, Dabri More and Ghazipur.
The Ministry has promised to take up the issues with the Delhi government, Delhi Police, Municipal Corporation of Delhi and other stakeholders to expedite action.