Nine years on, Delhi Airport runway still waiting for Shiv statue to move

The Shiva statue next to the airport

Authorities at Delhi International Airport have been waiting for nearly nine years for a religious trust to lower the height of a statue to make full use of one of Asia’s longest runways.

It was in 1989 that the Airport Authority had given permission to Jaya Shree Charity Trust to build a Shiva statue with a maximum height of 252.1 meters above sea-level.

The statue was completed in 1994.

At the time, runway 29 — whose operation is impacted by the statue — was not in existence.

However, due to increasing traffic, airport authorities soon decided to create a new 1.5km runway, which was completed in August 2008.

However, they soon realized that the statue would pose a threat to planes landing and taking off.

A measurement of the elevation of the statue found that the top of the structure was located at a height of 263.67 meters above sea-level, or about 11.5 meters higher than what was allowed in the permit.

In the months that followed, Delhi Airport Authorities issued a legal notice to fix the height by digging the statue down.

However, nine years after the runway was first inaugurated, the Trust is yet to lower the height of the statue.

According to data from the ministry of civil aviation, Airport authorities are still waiting for the trust to dig the statue down.

As a result, part of the runway is still not used for landing, though planes are allowed to use the entire runway when taking off.