There is a mounting pressure in Bengaluru to spread northwards

Real estate boom threat for Air Force Station YelahankaBy Pritishp333 (Own work) via Wikimedia Commons
news Thursday, September 24, 2015 - 10:32

 Mushrooming growth of real estate in Bengaluru is the newest problem posing a threat to flying operations of Air Force Station (AFS), Yelahanka, said Group Captain Amit Pushkar, COO, AFS Yelahanka, here on Wednesday.

He said though every new construction in the vicinity of AFS has "to obtain a No Objection Certificate (NOC) and multiple permissions from various agencies like the Ministry of Defence (MoD), Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) and others, we are detecting violations".

During a presentation, Pushkar highlighted 50-metre-high cranes at construction sites near AFC Yelahanka.

Every construction within a radius of 20 km from the Air Force station has to obtain an NOC, added Wing Commander J.P. Sebharwal.

"There is a mounting pressure in Bengaluru to spread northwards, population is increasing. Local population adds pressure on the land," said Air Commodore S.C. Gulati, Air Officer Commanding of AFS Yelahanka.

Gulati said AFS Yelahanka in August took up the issue of such constructions with Bengaluru Development Authority (BDA) to understand the prevailing conditions and for better management.

He said AFC Yelahanka plans to continue its meetings with the civic authorities to contain all kinds of violations. He also said achieving a considerable success in tackling the bird menace is a respite for AFC Yelahanka.

"We are successfully dealing with bird menace to a great extent. Especially in the rainy season, the birds come in full strength after the rains stop as they have been deprived of food during the rain. They actively prowl for about three hours during which we stop flying," Gulati said.

AFC Yelahanka, the premier transport and helicopter training base of the Indian Air Force (IAF), trains pilots and navigators for the IAF, Navy and Coast Guard and comes in handy for relief operations.

The major assets of AFS Yelahanka are AN-32 and Dornier-228 aircraft and Mi-class helicopters.