Gurgaon’s municipal authorities have proposed shifting an ammunition depot of the Indian Air Force (IAF), situated on the Delhi-Gurgaon border, to Faridabad.
Municipal Corporation of Gurgaon Commissioner Praveen Kumar made the proposal before a high-level six-member committee formed by the Centre to look into problems faced by nearly 2.5-lakh residents staying within a 900-m restricted area around the IAF ammunition depot.
“We have proposed relocating the ammunition depot to Tilpat Firing Range in Faridabad, which is spread over 4,306 acres and is lying vacant,” Kumar said. In response, Kumar said, the IAF has said Gurgaon is of strategic and operational importance as it is closer to the Indira Gandhi International Airport and New Delhi.
Kumar said it was also proposed to make the ammunition depot an underground facility.
Citing an underground ammunition depot in Singapore, Kumar said, “In that case, if there is a blast, the impact would be contained without affecting the people residing above.” Second, an underground facility would save space, he said.
The six-member committee, headed by Additional Secretary (Urban Development) D Diptivilasa, comprises officials from the Ministry of Urban Development, Ministry of Defence, the Gurgaon Municipal Commissioner and the Union cabinet secretary.
Earlier this year, the High Court ordered Gurgaon’s municipal authorities to supply water and power to the 2.5-lakh people, who live in 30,000 houses constructed illegaly within the 900-m restricted area around the 1,000-acre ammunition depot.
“A humanitarian approach is needed on the issue,” Kumar said.
Sources said if the proposal is accepted, the Haryana government and Gurgaon’s municipal authorities will jointly bear the cost of shifting the depot. But if the proposal is rejected, compensation will have to be paid by the IAF. The quantum of compensation will be decided by the Gurgaon deputy commissioner.
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