Bhubaneswar, Jan 16: Veteran politician and ace pilot Biju Patnaik’s favourite Dakota plane, which was rusting at Kolkata airport, will be brought to Odisha for the preservation of memories of the legendary figure. A decision was taken by the state government to this effect, said state’s Transport Secretary Manoj Mishra.
The decision was taken at a high level meeting chaired by the state’s Chief Secretary Asit Kumar Tripathy here today. The Dakota plane will be brought to Odisha, but the place where it will be kept will be decided later, said Transport Secretary Mishra.
The Dakota plane was very favourite of Biju and he used to use it personally. Biju, an ace pilot during the Britsh days, rescued several national and international leaders including Sukarno of Indonesia during their freedom movement. So this aeroplane had been an unforgettable part of Biju’s life.
However, it became defunct over the years and has been lying as waste at Kolkata airport. Demands are being raised to bring the ramshackle aircraft to Odisha and place it in Biju birth place museum at Ananda Bhawan in Cuttack. The state government had also supported the demand and the state Culture department had reportedly placed Rs 10 crore in the departmental budget in the past. However, the allotted funds have returned to state exchequer as the proposal did not materialise at that time.
However, the state government has renewed its interest and today took a formal decision to bring Biju’s Dakota aeroplane to Odisha to preserve it as a memorial.