Following a demand from the National Defence Academy (NDA) for restrictions on the height of buildings in its vicinity for security of training aircraft operating out of the airstrip inside its campus, the district administration has asked it to refer to rules of the Indian Air Force as well as of Airport Authority of India (AAI) before any such decision could be taken.
NDA has started work to extend and widen the runaway for its airstrip inside the campus.
In a letter to Pune district collector and municipal commissioner last month, it had said, “There should be no construction of height of more than 45 metres within three kms of the NDA boundary wall at Shivane, Uttamnagar and Kondwa Dhawade and no constructions of height more than 15 metres shall exist within three kms of NDA boundary wall in Warje and Malwadi on approach for runway.”
In view of these restrictions, the NDA has asked the district administration to take No Objection Certificate from it for new constructions in these areas.
The letter said rampant construction was taking place adjacent to the NDA campus, which was a cause of concern in terms of safety of the aircraft flying to and from the runway at the campus.
While a preliminary meeting has taken place between officials of Pune Municipal Corporation authorities, revenue department, PMRDA and NDA, the district administration is of the opinion that they cannot lay down such rules since IAF allowed constructions of a certain height in different categories up to 900 metres of any defence establishment.
“We have put before them these rules and asked them to refer to them before putting up any regulations. Moreover, with constructions already rampant in the said areas, they cannot suddenly issue such directives as it would affect a large population,” Pune district collector Saurabh Rao said.
Rao said those buildings that had already been given sanction or that are existing would not be affected.
“We have asked NDA authorities to check the rules and get back to us. We should have a meeting in a fortnight to iron out the issue. If needed, we can take it up with the defence ministry as well,” he said, adding that the Work of Defence Act clearly mentioned that necessary compensation needs to be given if any such regulations are bought about.
In its letter, NDA said that work was going on to extend and widen its existing runway, which would be completed in March 2016. After completion of work, the airfield will have a runway length of 5,000 feet and width of 100 feet.
The letter says that the airstrip at NDA has been included in the list of operational airfields and so all restrictions in terms of construction of buildings around the airfield apply to the runway.