New Delhi: An artillery firing range on
Odisha coast has become a centre of dispute between DRDO and
the state government which is seeking its relocation for
building a port there.
The state government had sometimes ago expressed its desire
to build a shipping port at PXE, which is presently used to
test fire the rocket shells used by the artillery, DRDO Chief
VK Saraswat said here on Wednesday.
"The great advantage of this particular coast is that the
sea recedes to four to five Kms during low tides. So you get a
stretch of 40-50 Kms in length and almost 6-8 Kms in width. It
is a unique location in the world for testing high precision
artillery weapons," he said.
Along with DRDO, the site is used by ordnance factories
and other agencies producing artillery shells. It is being
used for this purpose since the British days, he said.
"PXE has a unique requirement to launch a shell only when
the sea recedes. Now state government is considering a
proposal to set up a port there and we were told that we
should try to restrict the testing range and use a shorter
range location," Saraswat said.
Noting that the two sides are discussing the issue as DRDO
does not want to come in the way of state`s development,
Saraswat said they are trying to find ways to address the
"Dialogue is going on, we don`t want to come in the way of
economic growth of the state. We are trying to find solutions
by way of technology. There are possibilities that the port
can be shifted by few Kms down south and the two activities
can go on together," he said.
Stressing that Odisha government has been supporting DRDO
since day one, he said, "I am sure we will be able to
resolve that by technological means."