Sunday, January 26, 2020

Ex-sarpanch offers to keep Biju’s Dakota

Koraput: A former sarpanch of the tribal-dominated Koraput district has offered two acres of land in the district to keep Biju Patnaik’s Dakota aircraft and develop it into a heritage site. The state government recently wrote to the Airports Authority of India (AAI), requesting it to bring back the abandoned aircraft from Kolkata.
Dakota (VT-AUI) aircraft belongs to the erstwhile Kalinga airlines, which was founded by former chief minister Biju Patnaik. With the help of this aircraft, he had flown out Sultan Sjahrir, the Prime Minister of Indonesia, from a jungle hideout and had reached India on July 24, 1947, on the instructions of then Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru. The family of former sarpanch (Dumuriput) Uttarkabat Apparao Choudhury submitted a proposal to district collector Madhusudan Mishra in this regard.
“Biju Patnaik’s contribution in establishing the engine division of Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) at Sunabeda in the mid 60s was huge. Our region received national importance because of his contribution. HAL has strengthened the tribal economy of the region,” Loknath Choudhury, son of the former sarpanch, said.
“To honour and acknowledge his role in developing the area, the family has decided to donate two acres of land at Dumuriput mouza,” he added.
26/01/20 Satyanarayan Pattnaik/Times of India
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