IAF objects to construction of hotels near Palam Air Base

New Delhi, Feb 3 (PTI) Air Force has raised objection toconstruction of some multi-storey buildings, including hotels,near its Palam base here as these are seen as a security risk.

As part of the Aero City project, at least 14 five-starhotels and other buildings are being constructed near theIndira Gandhi International Airport, which is too close to theAviation Research Centre (ARC) of Research and Analysis Wing(R&AW), officials said.

"This is a matter of concern to us...We have raisedobjection over this (construction)," Air Chief Marshal P VNaik told reporters here.

He was replying to queries about whether the constructionof hotels next to ARC complex was a matter of concern for theIAF and whether it has raised objection over the issue.

Naik, however, did not elaborate or specify as to whomthe objections had been conveyed.

As per the rules, no construction activity is allowedwithin 100 metres of military air bases and technical areas,IAF officials said.

The ARC base houses aircrafts such as IL-76, AN-32 andGulf Stream, which are used for gathering intelligence andcarrying out airborne surveillance missions.

Asked to comment on the issue, Minister of State forDefence M M Pallam Raju said, "I think all these aspects wouldbe looked into by respective station commanders...If there isany threat, they will bring it to the notice of theappropriate authorities."

On the possibilities of any wrongdoings in theconstruction activities, he said, "Let us not over-react.

Wherever there is a defence station and construction is comingaround that vicinity, it can always be contained by invokingWorks of Defence Act, 1903."

Works of Defence Act provides for imposition ofrestrictions upon the use and enjoyment of land in thevicinity of works of defence in order that such land may bekept free from buildings and other obstructions, and fordetermining the amount of compensation to be made on accountof such imposition.

The Delhi International Airport Limited (DIAL), which isconstructing the project, did not give any reaction despitebeing asked a number of times.

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