The Air force has written to Pathankot administration to remove encroachments near the airbase a couple of days back, a senior official of the Pathankot Municipal Corporation told reporters over phone.

As per rules, no construction can take place within 100 metres from the airbase and no structure can come up to 900 metres around the ordnance depot.

Though Pathankot Municipal Corporation has said that it was "not easy to remove old houses", it has initiated the process of surveying the area to identify the "unauthorized structures".

"We have launched a survey to identify structures around the air force base in Pathankot," the official said. Pathankot Mayor Anil Vasudeva said, "We are looking into the matter. It is not easy to remove old houses. While taking any decision, the interest of all stakeholders will be kept in mind."

However, he said if there is any illegal construction in the area, it will certainly be removed. The Municipal Corporation is trying to identify houses and other structures to ascertain how many had come up before the airbase was commissioned and how many after its commissioning.

"First we will see whether these structures (houses) fall in the municipal corporation jurisdiction. Then we will see if these structures were in existence before the Air force base came up here," the official said.

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