Jharsuguda: Non resident Odias living in the UAE, who have spearheaded an international movement to ensure direct air connectivity to the newly established Veer Surendra Sai Airport in Jharsuguda, have specially flown in to be a part of the historic, first-ever Delhi-Jharsuguda direct flight, which touched down at around 1600 hours at Veer Surendra Sai Airport, Jharsuguda yesterday.
A two member team comprising of Manas Panda, Director of a large American Electrical Company and Priyadarshee Panigrahi, General Manager of a leading consumer goods company, both based at Dubai flew down especially from Dubai to board this flight and be a part of the momentous occasion.
The two member delegation were invited to light the inaugural lamp at the Terminal 2 building of Delhi airport. They also had the honor of flagging off the aircraft on the tarmac for this historic flight along with Captain Yadav and other dignitaries.
The team carried special gifts for all the passengers all the way from Dubai. Dates, which are Middle Eastern Speciality, were specially sourced in Dubai and packed for distribution among passengers and airport staff. Other small mementoes were also handed out to all the passengers.
Passengers on board the flight appreciated the efforts of Non Resident Odias in mobilizing support for starting of these flights.
According to Manas Panda, these direct links will ensure greater economic development of the region and help promote trade and tourism, its handicrafts and textiles. Also it will promote industrial growth in the region.
Priyadarshee termed the starting of direct flights as the beginning of a new dawn in development of the western part of Odisha. He said it will greatly benefit educational institutions like IIM Sambalpur, VSSUT Burla and VIMSAR Burla, better placements etc. Such connectivity will also be a boon for overseas Odias originating from western part of Odisha and shall cut down travel time to their hometowns drastically.
Other senior members like Capt. Soumya Ranjan Patnaik- Director & CEO of an International Shipping Company based out of Dubai, Rajesh Tripathy – General Manager, of a leading Global Management School, Dubai , Arvind Biswal –Associate Head Legal of a large Business Process Company based at Toronto, Canada and Rajat Rath – Senior Financial Analyst, leading communication company, Dubai, could not make it for the special occasion because of previous engagements. They have also conveyed their best wishes on this special occasion.
Non Resident Odias living in the United Arab Emirates under the banner of G.O.O.D (Global Odias for Odisha’s Development) have been at the forefront of an International Campaign to operationalize Jharsuguda airport. They started their campaign in October last year with a Memorandum presented to the Indian Consul General Vipul in Dubai. Then, they had knocked on the doors of the Chief Minister, Naveen Patnaik to request him to operationalize this new airport. Apart from this, they kept up their efforts by mobilizing public opinion through mainstream media.
Vipul, Indian Consul General, Dubai in a special message has expressed his happiness at the starting of regular flights from Jharsuguda airport. He conveyed his best wishes to the Odia community of Dubai. He expressed hope that this will open new avenues of trade and tourism, including with Dubai.