After a long tussle, Solapur factory’s 92-m tall chimney razed to facilitate flights
After a tug-of-war for more than five years, a 92-metre tall chimney inside the Siddheshwar Cooperative Sugar Factory in Solapur was finally demolished under massive police protection, here on Thursday afternoon, officials said.
Solapur: After a tug-of-war for more than five years, a 92-metre tall chimney inside the Siddheshwar Cooperative Sugar Factory in Solapur was finally demolished under massive police protection, here on Thursday afternoon, officials said.
The razing of the chimney — it crashed down in a second with a deafening sound along with a cloud of dust from the debris — was carried out in a planned manner, and will now facilitate operations at the upcoming Solapur Airport, which had been pending for years.
The process for the chimney demolition started yesterday with clamping of Section 144 prohibitory orders, a massive police force deployment outside and inside the factory premises since Wednesday night, and blocking road traffic in the vicinity till Sunday, June 18.
Considered an emotive issue with many locals, the police rounded up over 500 farmers, workers and supporters as a prelude to the demolition, which ended peacefully.
The chimney construction started in the factory as part of its expansion 10 years ago, and was completed in 2017, though it was later declared as ‘illegal’ by the civic authorities.
Following a notice from the Solapur Municipal Corporation, the factory management moved the Bombay High Court which did not grant any relief.
In 2018, a civic team went there with bulldozers to bring down the chimney but returned due to strong opposition by the farmers, workers and locals.
After more legal rounds, plus the involvement of the Directorate-General of Civil Aviation, the civic body ordered the demolition of the chimney on April 27, and served a 45-day notice period, after which the process was initiated.
The chimney had become a political bone of contention among various mainstream parties in the city but after its demolition, locals are optimistic that the city will soon figure on the country’s air-map.