DRDO asked to shift artillery range by Odisha govt
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Last Updated: Wednesday, November 16, 2011, 21:26
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 problem.

"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."


First Published: Wednesday, November 16, 2011, 21:26

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