Dist admin, defence in standoff over land for road

Dist admin, defence in standoff over land for road

Authorities of the Air Force station here and the district administration on Thursday locked horns over a piece of land measuring 35 guntas at Chidri village, presently known as Adarsh Colony. The standoff is over the construction of an approach road to the railway underbridge (RuB).

Assistant Commissioner Venkat Raja (also the sub-divisional magistrate - SDM) - on behalf of the district administration - issued a written order to the defence authorities, which they refused to accept.

The SDM exercised his powers to restrain the Air Force authorities from interfering in and obstructing the work. Ground-clearing works have already started for the approach road.
Defence authorities claim that the land where the road is coming up belongs to them.

The district administration is of the opinion that once the road is constructed, it will help the residents in the nearby areas and the defence personnel. Non-completion of the work is causing hardships to them, even accidents on the extension road to Chidri locality, it says.

On Tuesday night, officials of the PWD - entrusted with the task of constructing 160 meters of the approach road - and other officials visited the spot late and started the work.

When Air Force officials learnt about this, they rushed to the spot. Air Commodore and Air Officer Commanding Kirthi Kajuria - who took charge of the Air Force station recently - and other senior personnel visited the spot.

They said that the district administration has to swipe land of the same measurement or value with them. Or the State government has to acquire it legally to develop the road. The district administration has to furnish an undertaking to the Defence Estates in this regard, they said. Only then, they will allow the civil work, they added.

The sudden action from the district administration could be treated as direct interference in the internal affairs of defence, which could put them (the administration) in soup, senior defence personnel said.

This led to heated arguments between officials of the district  administration and senior defence personnel. Meanwhile, residents from Adarsh Colony arrived at the spot and shouted slogans against the defence authorities. Even as defence personnel camped at the site, heavy excavation equipment continued the work.

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