Tirumala Tirupati Venkateswara Swamy temple, a no-fly zone?
The central government has been sitting on the proposal of the Tirumala Tirupati Devasthanams (TTD) to declare Sri Venkateswara Swamy temple in Tirumala as a no-fly zone. The TTD sent the proposal to the Centre in 2012. According to sources, the TTD has renewed its request after two aircraft passed over the temple earlier this month.
“We will approach civil aviation minister P Ashok Gajapathi Raju for support. We will also request CM Chandrababu Naidu to take up the issue with the Centre,” said Chadalavada Krishnamurthy, TTD chairman. Temple chief priest Ramana Deekshitulu said that Tirumala should be declared a no-fly zone. “If aircraft are allowed to fly over the temple, it will lead to trouble in society,” he warned.
The no-fly zone proposal was sent to the Centre when N Kiran Kumar Reddy was the chief minister. The Centre has not taken any decision so far.
Sources said that the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) had turned down the proposal on the ground that pilgrim centres cannot be declared as no-fly zones. The DGCA feared that if it declared Tirumala as a no-fly zone, many pilgrim centres will also come up with a similar request.
According to Renigunta airport director V V Rao, the proposal has been pending with the Union home ministry. “However, we are not flying over Tirumala keeping in view the local sentiment,” he said.
The DGCA had turned down a similar request by Sri Jagannath temple authorities in Puri in 2014. Another proposal from Sri Padmanabha Swamy temple in Kerala has also been pending with the DGCA.
The Tower of Silence in Mumbai is the only religious place that is declared as a no-fly zone in the country.
According to the Aeronautical India Publication, which lists fly zones in India, there are nearly 280 no-fly zones. Fly zones are classified as restricted, prohibited and dangerous. In restricted zones, operations come to a halt during particular hours. In prohibited area, no flying activity is allowed at any time. In the dangerous category, flying is prohibited but allowed in rare cases.
AP has two no-fly zones under danger area category at Sriharikota, a satellite launch station, and Chirala, where a military camp is located. Tirumala has been proposed under dangerous no-fly zone category.
Courtesry – The Times of India.