Monday, 12 December 2011

Meat shop within 10 km of airport illegal

INDORE: State urban development minister Babulal Gaur may have told the Assembly on Thursday that there is no provision in the Indian Aircraft Act to determine minimum distance from the airport for setting up of meat shops, but the Act specifies that there should be no slaughtering of animals within a radius of 10 km from the airport.

Gaur had accepted on the floor of the House that two licensed meat shops were in existence within the municipal limits in the proximity of Devi Ahilyabai Airport at Indore. Outside the municipal limits, two license shops and 14 unlicensed shops were functioning within the panchayat limits. He had also informed the House that there is no provision in the Act to determine minimum distance from the airport for setting up of meat shop.

Rule 91 of the Aircraft Act of clearly "prohibits slaughtering and flaying of animals, depositing rubbish and other polluted or obnoxious matter within a radius of 10 km from aerodrome reference point."

Director General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) had also sent a letter (AV 15023/1/2009-AS (Nbcc)) in November 2009 to all state government and Union territories, asking them to take necessary action under Rule 91 of Aircraft Act for control of incidents of bird hits.

The letter stated that the ministry of civil aviation has constituted the National Bird Control Committee (NBCC), with civil aviation secretary as its chairman. The committee pointed out that the provisions of Rule 91 of Aircraft Act are not being enforced effectively.

The letter has also advised the chief secretary and commissioner or head of districts to chair the Airfield Environment Management Committee (AEMC), formed by the ministry of home affairs, to hold meetings on regular basis with local civic bodies and police and list preventive measures to be implemented on a fixed time frame for the control of bird's presence in the vicinity of airports.

Congress MLA Satya Narayan Patel, who raised the issue of bird-hit in the Assembly, said Gaur has misguided the House about the provision of the rule and the government is not very serious about the safety of air travellers.

In another letter, the DGCA has asked the Airports Authority of India to carry out a survey of the area -- about 10 km all around the airport - and work with the local administration and police authorities to identify any violation of Aircraft Rules in the case of slaughter houses, unauthorised piggeries, meat shops, dumping of garbage and other sources that can attract birds and register FIRs to have them removed.

Till now, a survey was conducted but it did nit extend to a radius of 10 km and not a single FIR has been filed.

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