Plea in HC to regulate traffic on elevated road

Plea in HC to regulate traffic on elevated road

Highway in no-obstruction zone endangers flights in Jakkur aerodrome: Petitioners

Plea in HC to regulate traffic on elevated road

The High Court has directed the State government to come out with a feasibility report on the proposal made by the petitioners, Agni Aero Sports and Adventure Academy Private Limited and Captain Aravind Sharma, seeking to regulate traffic atop the Elevated Highway (EH) adjoining the Jakkur Aerodrome.

Hearing a petition last month, Justice B S Patil, in his interim order, directed the government to come up with a feasibility report on the proposal to regulate traffic or suggest an alternative. “The petitioner has proposed to regulate traffic on the elevated highway during takeoff and landing to prevent hazards. The chief secretary and the National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) should come up with a feasibility report or suggest an alternative,” the court said.

The petitioners had moved the High Court, stating that the EH has come up in the no-obstruction zone of the Jakkur runway approach funnel, endangering the safety of flight operations. This makes the runway unsuitable for many aircraft.

“The inaction on the part of the authorities concerned to exercise power under the Aircraft Act, 1934, and to prevent such illegal EH construction in the vicinity will result in danger to human lives. It might also lead to the closure of the aerodrome and the City losing another precious lung space to real estate sharks and creating an environmental disaster,” the petitioners said.

The petitioners cited the mishap involving the Indian Airlines’ Boeing 737 aircraft in Aurangabad on April 26, 1993, in which 55 people died after the aircraft hit a truck on the national highway adjoining the airport. They submitted that following this disaster, the NHAI was forced to change the alignment of the road and traffic was regulated for five years. They submitted that after the incident, the Aircraft (demolition of obstruction caused by buildings and trees, etc) Rules, 1994, came into existence, which emphasised the safety of aircraft.

Safety issues

“There are about 18 aircraft which take off and land at this airfield, they need 50 seconds each. If the traffic is regulated for this duration, the safety of human life can be ensured,” the petitioners said. “Traffic regulations will be only between 6 am and 6 pm,” the petitioners said.

However, the NHAI (at a meeting in February 2014 with the State government) rejected the idea of regulating traffic, saying “it will affect the revenue of the concessionaire who has built the road.”