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Home News Power Sector News Director General of Civil Aviation made Kalpakkam Nuclear plant no-fly zone

Director General of Civil Aviation made Kalpakkam Nuclear plant no-fly zone

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KalpakkamFollowing heightened threat perception to sensitive installations, the government declared the Kalpakkam nuclear power plant in Tamil Nadu a no fly zone to prevent any 9/11 kind of targeting of this sensitive site. Kalpakkam now joins the only other atomic installation, Tarapur in Maharashtra, to have flights barred over its immediate airspace.

Director General of Civil Aviation Nasim Zaidi's order providing this aerial shield states: "The DGCA, being satisfied that in the interest of the security of India it is necessary so to do, hereby directs that no person shall fly or assist in flying an aircraft upto the height of 10,000 feet over the area included within a radius of 10 km from Kalpakkam nuclear installation."

Sources said in almost every security meeting held following the recent Mumbai attack, the intelligence agencies had been stressing the need to declare Kalpakkam a no fly zone. "This was the first priority item in almost every meeting. The Indian Air Force also asked for declaring Kalpakkam a no fly zone given its extremely high threat perception. Hence in national interest, the DGCA has issued the order without losing any time," said sources.

This proposal was originally mooted almost four years back. The idea: prevent a plane crashing into them in a repeat of the 9/11 attack.

Until now, only Tarapur Atomic Station in Maharashtra was a no fly zone. Atomic power plants are already functional in places like Kalpakkam near Chennai; Rawatbhata near Kota; Narora in UP; Kakrapar near Surat and Kaiga in Karnataka. In addition another plant is coming up at Kudankulam in Tamil Nadu. In addition, Bhabha Atomic Research Centre (BARC) is a sensitive multidisciplinary nuclear research centre in Mumbai.

According to highly placed sources, making no fly zones in most of these places is possible except for BARC which is almost in the flight path of the Mumbai airport's main runway.

Courtsey- Times of India

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