State govt unlikely to allow DRDO to use coastline

Bhubaneswar: The state government today indicated they might not allow Defence Research Development Organisation (DRDO) to use their coastline for carrying out seaward artillery practice and manoeuvres. The state government`s mood was expressed by chief secretary B K Patnaik who chaired a meeting with DRDO personnel here.

"Let the DRDO first stop objecting to our port projects," Patnaik told reporters replying a question on DRDO`s request to the state government. He said these proposed ports would certainly help the growth of the state and boost its economy.

However, the efforts were curtailed due to objection of DRDO, he said. Though it was a regular practice by the DRDO to undertake such exercise in Balasore and Bhadrak coast, this time the state government refused to give permission to the defense establishment to use its shore.

"The state government refused to give permission to DRDO in February. Therefore, no exercise is carried since then," a senior official at commerce and transport department said. The state government`s appeal to the Centre seeking intervention into the dispute with DRDO had been ignored by the defence ministry, the official said adding the state government wanted to set up ports without harming DRDO activities.

The state government is proposing to develop ports at Chudamani, Kirtania, Inchudi, Bahabalpur and other ports in these areas. DRDO chief V K Saraswat had earlier met Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik in July and sought permission from the state government for the exercise.