Even as a team of Union aviation ministry is expected to carry out inspection of perimeter walls of Indore airport in the coming days, the menace of stray animals will not go away anytime soon, say experts.
"The problem is the topography over which the boundary wall has been built. There are depressions in the land at several spots and jackals have managed to enter the premises by digging under the boundary wall. The jackals who have been hiding in the tall grass on the airport premises (spread over 940 acres) have now settled down and have also been breeding," a senior forest department official told HT. "Apart from jackals, rabbits and snakes are also present on the airport premises," he said.
On the evening of October 24, a jackal had come between the tyres of a Spice Jet plane while it was taxiing to the runway. The flight was delayed while a thorough inspection was carried out. Taking serious note of the incident, Indore airport authorities had held a meeting with the forest department personnel and made an elaborate plan to trap the jackals. Several cages were installed and food was kept as bait to lure the sly animal.
"However, after two weeks of intense efforts, only one jackal has been trapped while more than 20 jackals are still hiding in the tall grass inside airport premises," an airport official told HT.
A buffalo colliding with a plane at Surat airport has prompted the Union aviation ministry to send out teams to all airports across the country for detailed inspections of the perimeter walls.
In the past too, stray jackals and wild dogs have given sleepless nights to the airport authorities. A look at the boundary wall also reveals that mounds of mud adjoin the walls at some places that could also provide an entry point to stray animals, especially dogs. The problem had subsided in the past few months but has again recurred. For the past few days, the presence of jackals on the runway has been giving nightmares to the airlines operating from here.
"We have taken different steps including cutting the grass near the operational area. We are also carrying out inspection of the boundary wall for any repair works," Indore airport director Manoj Chansoria told HT.
Forest department officials say that airports are generally located on the outskirts of the city and are surrounded by villages and areas without much habitation making it easier for wild animals to stray in. In the areas around Indore airport, jackal, wild dog and few other wild animals are found. Apart from wild animals, Indore airport has battled the menace of bird hits in the past.
Read:Jackal trapped at Indore airport, hunt continues for more