The National Green Tribunal has stalled setting up a major aeronautical testing range in Karnataka in absence of necessary environmental approval.
The tribunal’s Chennai based branch on Thursday asked the project proponent Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) from carrying out any further work on the project site at Chitradurga.
The Rs 1,300 crore project envisages a runway besides other tracking and control equipment to test named and unmanned aircrafts. The site would also be used for test flight of ballistic missiles, air to ground weapons and aerostats.
The DRDO has started work on the project after getting clearance from the ministry and did not wait for mandatory clearance from Karnataka Pollution Control Board.
The DRDO counsel told the tribunal that no approval from the pollution control board was required and stalling the project at this advance stage would cost losses to public exchequer.
The petitioner, however, contended that over 10,000 acres of farm land called Amrit Mahal Kaval was converted for industrial purpose violating norms.