HC stays metro rail work near Jakkur aerodrome
Petitioner alleges that the ‘State government wants to render the facility unusable so as to divert the land for real estate and other purposes’
The Karnataka High Court on Tuesday restrained the Bangalore Metro Rail Corporation Limited (BMRCL) from commencing construction of the proposed elevated metro line on the western side of the aerodrome of the Government Flying Training Institute at Jakkur in breach of the restrictions on construction around airstrips imposed under provisions of the laws related to operation of aircraft.
A division bench comprising Chief Justice Abhay Shreeniwas Oka and Justice Ashok S. Kinagi passed the interim order on a PIL petition filed by Ajoy Kumar Patil, a city-based advocate.
Pointing out that the State’s Chief Secretary had admitted in the High Court in 2013 that construction of an elevated portion of the national highway leading to the airport was a violation of the rules, the petitioner has alleged that the government is now allowing an elevated structure for the metro rail, which will be much closer to the aerodrome than the elevated highway and in gross violation of the law.
While the elevated portion of the highway was brought to the ground level near Air Force Station (AFS), Yelahanka to adhere to the “no construction” norms around specified distance from airstrips, the same was violated in case of Jakkur aerodrome, the petitioner pointed out.
In the case of BMRCL, the stretch of metro rail near AFS has been designed as per the aircraft norms, but near Jakkur aerodrome the elevated design has been adopted in clear violation of the same norms, the petitioner alleged while pointing out that construction of an elevated metro rail would make the aerodrome unusable for operation of any aircraft. Operation of certain types of aircraft was already stopped or reduced following construction of the elevated stretch of highway, which affects the flight path.
Such a discriminatory act of the State government “clearly demonstrates that the only intention of the State government is to render the Jakkur aerodrome unusable and unviable so as to divert the usage of this vital lung space for real estate and other purposes. It is submitted that when once the runway is blocked or shortened so as to make flight operations impossible, the entire area can be diverted for other purposes on the ground that the land is no longer fit to be used as an aerodrome,” the petition alleged.
The proposed elevated metro rail near the aerodrome is clear violation of the Ministry of Civil Aviation (Height Restrictions for Safeguarding of Aircraft Operations) Rules, the petitioner has alleged.