Rawalpindi Municipal Corporation gets one week to remove pigeons, cages in airbase vicinity

Published March 27, 2024
The local administration has asked the RMC to get pigeon cages removed from the rooftops of houses to put an end to accidents due to bird strikes in the vicinity of the Nur Khan airbase. — AFP file photo
The local administration has asked the RMC to get pigeon cages removed from the rooftops of houses to put an end to accidents due to bird strikes in the vicinity of the Nur Khan airbase. — AFP file photo

RAWALPINDI: In order to put an end to accidents due to bird strikes in the vicinity of the Nur Khan airbase in the garrison city, the administration has asked the Rawalpindi Municipal Corporation (RMC) to confiscate domestic pigeons and their cages installed on rooftops in at least seven union councils of Rawalpindi.

In a similar vein, the admin also decided to crack down on kite flying and celebratory firing in the city in light of the directives of Punjab Chief Minister Maryam Nawaz in the wake of death of a young man due to a metallic kite string in Dijkot last week.

On Feb 24 when Rawalpindi celebrated ‘basant’, stray bullets damaged an aircraft of the Pakistan Air Force (PAF) and two transport aircraft parked at the Nur Khan base. In the areas near the base, such as Rawal Road, Band Khana Road, Amarpura, Glass Factory Road, and the old airport area, the flight of planes to and from the airbase has seen disruptions due to birds and firing. The admin also told the city managers to ensure cleanliness in these union councils.

These directives were given by Commissioner Aamir Khattak during the ‘Bird Hazard Committee’ meeting held to review the drive against kite flying, aerial firing, and pigeon flying. He directed the deputy commissioner to initiate an immediate crackdown against these three ‘fatal’ activities by enforcing Section 144.

Admin decides to crack down on kite flying, celebratory firing; nine detained for flying kites

In Jan this year, the Nur Khan Airbase administration asked the Rawalpindi deputy commissioner and the city police officer (CPO) to remove bird cages installed by residents on their rooftops in the vicinity of the airbase.

Kite flying ban

The police arrested nine suspects and recovered kits and strings in a crackdown against the activity, which recently killed a man in the province.

During the year, 980 suspects have been arrested and 78 thousands kites and strings have been seized by the authorities.

An official of the district administration privy to the meeting quoted the commissioner as saying that kite flying and selling kites was a crime. According to the Kite Flying Act, the punishment for selling kites is three years in jail besides a fine of Rs100,000.

The punishment for selling kites is imprisonment of up to 6 months and a fine of Rs100,000.

On the other hand, the residents of the garrison city were of the view that the administration should launch a crackdown against the kite and string manufacturers. They said that the police and administration merely nabbed the youngsters who were flying kites.

The district administration last year announced to set up squads comprising the administration officials and the police but failed to form these squads this year. However, they started action against kite flying after the death of a young man in central Punjab.

Published in Dawn, March 27th, 2024

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