Pune: Air Force and PMC to Survey Properties Within 100 Meters for Unauthorized Constructions

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Lohgaon, 29th May 2024: Officials from the Air Force Station (AFS) Pune and the Pune Municipal Corporation (PMC) are set to conduct a joint survey of properties within a 100-meter radius of the station to identify unauthorized constructions.

AFS Pune is a crucial air base for the Indian Air Force (IAF), housing squadrons of Sukhoi 30 MKI fighter aircraft. The surrounding areas of Lohegaon and Dhanori have seen the construction of hundreds of properties, including multistorey buildings, potentially compromising the security and operational efficiency of the base.

Rohidas Gavhane, PMC’s executive engineer, stated, “We will conduct a joint survey with the IAF. In our last meeting, we discussed the preliminary details of the work. The survey is expected to begin in the first week of June.”

A senior IAF officer mentioned that PMC officials have proposed using drones for the survey and are currently seeking permission from the Air Headquarters and South Western Air Command. “The area around the AFS is designated a no-drone zone for security purposes,” the officer explained. “However, since the survey will be conducted within 100 meters of the station boundary, special permission from Air HQ is necessary.”

A senior official from the Defence Estates Office (DEO) added, “On March 26, a meeting was held in the Ministry of Defence regarding unauthorized construction in the restricted zones of defence establishments, including AFS Pune. Following this, the ministry appointed Bimal Kumar Dubey, deputy general manager of the Ammunition Factory Khadki, to coordinate with PMC and Pimpri Chinchwad Municipal Corporation for the survey.”

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Concerns have been raised by the IAF regarding the permissions granted by PMC for construction in these restricted zones. “Despite knowing that it is a restricted zone, PMC has permitted private players to construct housing societies. Some of the buildings are just a stone’s throw away from the bomb dumping ground of the Air Force station in Lohegaon,” an IAF official pointed out.