Dumping of garbage poses a hazard to the Indian Air Force base located in the vicinity of Nal gram panchayat, which bagged the Nirmal Gram award in 2013 after it was declared the first open defecation-free panchayat of Bikaner district.
Piles of garbage within a 1-2 km radius of the air force station at Nal, about 15 km from Bikaner, raise fears of accidents to fighter planes as birds hover over the place. IAF officials expressed their concern to the district administration on Thursday at a meeting in which villagers of nearby areas were present.
“It is a serious matter. The gram panchayat and administrative officials concerned have been asked to find a solution to the problem,” district collector Ved Prakash told HT on Saturday.
Apart from Nal, dumping sites in Shobhasar, Kanasar, Badrasar and Kavni villages – all near the air force base -- have become a threat to IAF operations in the border district, IAF officials said.
At the meeting, villagers were told to throw garbage and dead animals at a fixed place, not in the open. Sub-divisional magistrate Nanuram Saini said, “The IAF has agreed to provide us a model dumping bin, and with the help of the gram panchayat, we will build the same on locations near and around the station.”
“Sanitation workers have been directed not to throw garbage in the open, and if they do, strong action will be taken against them,” Saini added.
“Garbage clearance on a daily basis in and around air bases is a must for flight safety. Awareness must be created among the public by the civil administration,” said defence spokesman Manish Ojha. “Bird-hits are among the major causes of air crashes leading to loss of pilots’ lives and costly defence aircraft.”