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Thursday, 3 September 2020

To protect Rafale from bird-hits, notices issued to pigeon owners

Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 2

Chief Secretary Keshni Anand Arora has ordered the officers concerned to address the complaint of the Ambala Air Force Station about the risk to the safety of newly inducted Rafale fighter aircraft from the presence of birds around the airbase.

"I have directed the Ambala MC Commissioner and the Additional Chief Secretary, Urban Local Bodies, to resolve the matter with the Army authorities," she said.

The area close to the Air Force station falls under the military cantonment.

Meanwhile, the sanitary inspector of the local body has issued notices to residents, who are breeding pigeons. Action would be taken against the residents if their pigeons flew within the 10 km radius of the airbase, the official said.

Earlier, the Director General, Urban Local Bodies, had written to the Commissioner, Municipal Corporation, Ambala City; Municipal Commissioner of Ambala, and the Executive Officer of Municipal Council, Ambala Sadar, for a reply on August 28. The same day, the local body had started issuing notices.

From the Air Force, Director General (Inspection and Safety) Air Marshal Manavendra Singh wrote to the Chief Secretary on August 5, complaining about the presence of birds around the Ambala Air Force Station.

He said that the safety and security of Rafale aircraft were the prime focus of the Indian Air Force (IAF), but the Ambala Air Force Station has a "very high concentration of birds" and the potential to cause "very serious damage" to the aircraft in case of a collision.

"The bird menace over the airfield is because of a garbage dump nearby. Several measures have been recommended to reduce the garbage. The Air Officer Commanding, Air Force station, Ambala, has met the Joint Commissioner and the Additional Municipal Commissioner of Ambala during the Aerodrome Environmental Management Committee meetings conducted on January 24, 2019, July 10, 2019, and January 24, 2020," Air Marshal Manavendra Singh said.

He called for a ban on pigeon breeding around the airbase and the implementation of the solid waste management scheme to reduce the bird menace in the aerodrome zone, 10 km around the airfield. "This will involve imposing a penalty, improving the garbage collection system and setting up of a suitable solid waste management plant at a distance from the airfield," he added.

Meanwhile, MC officials refused to comment on the complaint of the Air Force.

from The Tribune

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