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Chandigarh

Posted at: Aug 10, 2018, 2:20 AM; last updated: Aug 10, 2018, 2:20 AM (IST)

Stakeholders to discuss airport issues tomorrow

HC asks them to put their heads together; Indian Air Force had recently expressed safety concerns
Stakeholders to discuss airport issues tomorrow

Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 9

Just about a week after the Indian Air Force expressed safety and other concerns regarding the Chandigarh international airport, the Punjab and Haryana High Court on Thursday asked all stakeholders to put their heads together for resolving the issues.

They have been asked to hold a meeting at 2 pm on Saturday at the UT Guest House. The issues to be discussed primarily include extension of the runway, lighting and installation of the CAT-II and CAT-III systems. TATA Power SED, the company involved in the installation of the CAT-II system, will also attend the meeting.

The stakeholders, during the course of the meeting, are expected to give undertakings on the completion of their part of the task. An affidavit on the meeting would then be placed before the Bench.

The meeting assumes significance as the High Court can bind them down in terms of the undertakings. The stakeholders include the Airports Authority of India, GMADA, HUDA, the states of Punjab and Haryana, the Union Territory of Chandigarh and the Union of India.

Taking up the matter this afternoon, the High Court Bench of Chief Justice Krishna Murari and Justice Arun Palli made it clear that senior advocate Manmohan Lal Sarin, appointed amicus curiae or the friend of the court, would coordinate and ensure the taking up of all issues. “You are the representative of the court. You be there,” Chief Justice Murari asserted.

Appearing before the Bench, Assistant Solicitor General of India Chetan Mittal reiterated the pending issues, including lighting, drainage concerns and illegal constructions. The Bench was told that the airport, as of now, was functional till about 5.30 pm to 6 pm in the absence of lighting. It was expected to be operational 24X7 by February next year.

A joint-user airfield, it turned into an international airport only recently. The IAF is carrying out its transport fleet operations from the base. Chandigarh is considered an important base for the IAF and the Army as the deployment and maintenance of troops for the forward area is supported by it.

Referring to a survey carried out by the Patiala drainage department, the IAF had earlier told the court that its report revealed that all outlets leading to the main rain drain outside the airfield were blocked due to unauthorised construction and non-clearance of drainage.

The survey team also ruled out the possibility of re-routing the outlets and connecting these with the international airport main drainage system due to ground level differences. After due deliberation, it was found that the only solution was to connect airfield drains to the main drain via an underground drain.

What they will deliberate upon

They have been asked to hold a meeting at 2 pm on Saturday at the UT Guest House. The issues to be discussed primarily include extension of the runway, lighting and installation of the CAT-II and CAT-III systems. TATA Power SED, the company involved in the installation of the CAT-II system, will also attend the meeting.

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