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Court orders blanket ban on constructions within 100m of Chandigarh International airport

The IAF was also asked to check threats to the flight path at the airport.

punjab Updated: Sep 27, 2018 09:51 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times, Chandigarh
Chandigarh International airport,illegal construction,Chandigarh
An illegal construction just outside the Chandigarh International Airport’s boundary wall in Jagatpura village, Mohali.(HT File)

The Punjab and Haryana high court on Wednesday stayed all kinds of construction activity in Mohali and Chandigarh within 100 metres of the international airport .

The direction was passed by the high court (HC) bench of chief justice Krishna Murari and justice Arun Palli during resumed hearing in a 2015 public interest litigation (PIL) on deficiencies in infrastructure at Chandigarh International Airport.

The HC division bench came down heavily on the Zirakpur municipal council (MC) for its failure to act against illegal constructions on the airport’s periphery.

MC executive officer Manvir Singh Gill, who was in court, faced the bench’s ire. “Seek voluntary retirement. It will lead to your dismissal. Cooperate, else we will see you are dismissed,” the division bench said, as it was apprised by counsels that the Zirakpur MC did not participate in a joint survey carried out by the Indian Air Force (IAF) and Greater Mohali Area Development Authority (GMADA) earlier this month to find out the extent of illegal constructions.

The HC also told the Punjab government’s law officer to bring the matter to the knowledge of the state’s chief secretary.

Demolitions from Monday: GMADA

Meanwhile, assistant solicitor general Chetan Mittal produced photos of illegal constructions procured by the IAF, showing that a three-floor building came up at Pabhat village within one month. Letters were written to the district administration and the MC was also informed subsequently, but to no avail, he said.

Following this, the HC banned all kinds of construction activity within 100 metres of the airport and directed the Zirakpur MC and GMADA to conduct a survey and initiate proceedings for demolition of illegal structures. GMADA told court that it would initiate it from Monday.

The IAF was also asked to check threats to the flight path at the airport. Suvil Sehgal, UT’s senior standing counsel, told court that the administration has agreed to the acquisition of a portion of land for airport expansion, about which Punjab had expressed its inability.

Air India faces court ire again

Meanwhile, Air India executive director (operations) has been asked to submit a sector-wise report on its passenger load and profitability on international flights including that of the cancelled one to Bangkok.

For the second consecutive day, Air India faced the court’s ire as senior advocate Puneet Bali pointed out that civil aviation minister Jayant Sinha in Chandigarh on Tuesday talked of making the airport the region’s hub.

First Published: Sep 27, 2018 09:51 IST