The defence authorities have filed an affidavit in the Bombay high court stating that Red Zone area of Dehu Road Ammunition Depot will not be reduced for security reasons. The Pimpri Chinchwad Municipal Corporation (PCMC) wanted to construct 1,500 flats on the land in red zone in sector 22.
On April 7, 2012, Ajay Saxena, General Officer Commanding, Pune sub area filed the stated in the affidavit that the ammunition depot was established in 1940 i.e. prior to independence and is one the leading depots wherein, a large amount of ammunition is stored. It is one of the most sensitive areas in India. With the ever-increasing threat of terrorists, it has become imminent to enhance the security in and around the depot.
The defence officials said that the distance of 2,000 yards beyond the outer periphery of ammunition depot at Dehu Road must be maintained. The distance is necessary for security reasons and in no circumstances, the safety of the establishment can be jeopardised and hence, the distance cannot be reduced.
Last year, Major Gen Amit Sarin, AOC, Southern Command, had pointed out that the ammunition depot had been notified under the Works of Defence Act, 1903, which means that the land falling within a distance of 2,000 yards from the outer perimetre of the depot should be kept free from buildings and other constructions and no construction work other than defence-related be permitted within the notified area.
Last year, Shiv Sena corporator of Bhosari Seema Savale had filed a writ petition in the Bombay high court against the PCMC. The HC had issued legal notice to the PCMC about developing the Slum Rehabilitation Authority (SRA) scheme at Red Zone area of Dehu Road Ammunition depot at sector 22, Nigdi. Savale under the Right to Information Act, 2005 (RTI), exposed the fact.
The PCMC has constructed 11,760 tenements in sector 22 of Nigdi under SRA scheme falling under the Jawaharlal Nehru national urban renewable mission (JNNURM), for which the Centre has allocated Rs225 crore despite objection by the defence ministry.