Puri: Jagannath Sena, a fringe outfit, has written to West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee urging her to take steps for preserving Dakota aircraft, which was flown by former Odisha Chief Minister Biju Patnaik.
The aircraft has been parked at the Kolkata Airport since 1947. The airport authorities are now trying to sell it to scrap dealers, claimed Priya Darsan Pattnaik, an activist and founder of Jagannath Sena.
The Odisha Government had in 2018 decided to bring the abandoned aircraft to Cuttack from Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose International Airport in Kolkata. It was also decided to reconstruct the aircraft and keep it parked at the ground in front of Anand Bhavan, the ancestral house of Biju Patnaik at Tulsipur in Cuttack, for public view.
Worth mentioning, Biju Patnaik, who was known for his daredevilry act as a pilot, had formed the Kalinga Airline in 1947. The airline had 15 Dakota planes parked at its headquarters in Kolkata. The aircrafts were chiefly used by the army for transport of jawans deployed in Kashmir. Kalinga Airline’s DC-3s were also used to drop supplies at north-eastern area of the country and providing services to the army personnel in north-east area of the country.