The Mumbai airport authorities have dragged the Municipal Corporation of Greater Mumbai (MCGM) to the Bombay High Court, saying that abattoirs which are allowed to operate in the vicinity of the airport pose a serious threat to the aircraft as they tend to attract birds.
The slaughter houses also attract stray dogs in the area, says the petition filed by Mumbai International Airport Ltd. It alleges that MIAL had repeatedly requested the civic body to revoke the licences of slaughter houses located within the 10 kms radius of the airport, but no action was taken.
During the hearing yesterday, MCGM's lawyer, senior advocate Anil Sakhare sought time to discuss the issue with higher authorities, so the division bench of Justices Naresh Patil and Ashok Bhangale adjourned the hearing to the next week.
MIAL contends that allowing slaughter houses and dumping grounds near the airports is against the law. In 2013 there were 18 confirmed incidents of bird hits and as many suspected incidents, it says. During January to May 2014, eight confirmed incidents and ten suspected incidents of bird-hit were reported. Moreover, 50 stray dogs have been caught within the periphery of the airport this year.
All this poses "a serious and immediate safety threat to aircraft operations as well as to passengers", increasing the possibility of bird-hits and air crash, MIAL has said.