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Sheila writes to Air Chief on abattoir issue

By Our Staff Reporter

NEW DELHI, OCT. 14. Even as the sub-committee constituted by the Delhi Cabinet to find another site for relocating the Idgah slaughter house failed to come up with an alternative, the Delhi Chief Minister, Sheila Dikshit, has written to the Air Chief, Air Chief Marshal S. Krishnaswamy, to approach the Supreme Court about his objections to the upcoming abattoir at Ghazipur in East Delhi.

The Hindon air base of the Indian Air Force is located about 8.8 km from the abattoir -- something that has the Air Force authorities worried. "I had got Air Chief Marshal's letter regarding his objections to the location of the Ghazipur slaughter house. The Air Chief was of the view that coming of the abattoir at this site would seriously hamper operations of the air base and increase the danger of bird hits. However, I have asked the Air Force authorities to put their view point before the Supreme Court as the Municipal Corporation of Delhi was building the abattoir there at the directions of the court,'' the Chief Minister informed.

Ms. Dikshit said she had sent a copy of the Air Chief's letter to the MCD Commissioner, Rakesh Metha, to inform the Corporation about the point of view of the Air Force authorities. The Chief Minister said the idea of asking the Air Chief to write to the court was to bring on record the objections raised by it as the Apex Court was monitoring the matter. The Delhi Government has been at its wits end on the relocation of the abattoir as it has come under pressure from within its own party MLAs for not allowing the construction of the abattoir at Ghazipur. Interestingly, even the Finance Minister, A.K. Walia, is not very keen on having an abattoir at Ghazipur and had suggested a number of alternate sites. However, the Chief Minister conceded that the committee headed by Dr. Walia, which also the Transport Minister, Haroon Yusuf, as its member, had been unable to come up an alternative site for the relocation of the abattoir. The committee had visited several areas including the Bhalaswa Jehangirpuri landfill site and the land adjoining the Millennium Park on Ring Road.

However, it found the site near the Millennium Park unviable due to its proximity to heritage monuments and lack of adequate land space for the purpose. The committee had talked about 250 acre Bhalaswa-Jehangirpur site as the possible alternative but the move drew strong protests from the area MLA, Jile Singh Chauhan and the local residents. The Government has been caught in a tizzy, as the residents of East Delhi are also up in arms against the decision of the Court to locate the abattoir at Ghazipur. The MCD has projected a requirement of 60 acres of land for construction of state-of-the-art slaughter house at Ghazipur and has already pumped in Rs. 4 crore for carrying out civil works. The Supreme Court had on Monday directed the MCD to continue with the task of construction of the slaughter house at Ghazipur and had refused to look at any other alternative.

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