12 BJD MP-Elects Meet Naveen
12 BJD MP-Elects Meet Naveen

Will Biju Babu’s Iconic “Dakota” Be Ever Brought Back To Odisha?

05 March 2019

Debashish Maharana

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Bhubaneswar: When all are agog to witness daredevil pilot Biju Patnaik (fondly called Biju Babu)’s iconic “Dakota” aircraft displayed at his birthplace Anand Bhawan in Odisha’s historic city as well as old capital city Cuttack, BJP today claimed that they will materialize it once they come to power in the State here.

On the occasion of 103rd birth anniversary of the legendary statesman and ex-Chief Minister of Odisha, senior BJP leader-cum-Union Petroleum Minister Dharmendra Pradhan in his media reactions commented, “Naveen Babu did a good act by converting his ancestral home (Anand Bhawan) into a museum and had also got it dedicated to the public by the President of India.”

He stated, “It is said that Dakota aircraft will be brought back to Odisha. The State Government will get it here back from Kolkata airport where it is lying abandoned. Now many months have elapsed. Had it been brought back, it would have been done much earlier.”

“We’ll get Dakota aircraft back for the sake of Odisha’s pride and prestige,” he vowed.

Countering Dharmendra Pradhan’s statement, senior MLA and BJD spokesperson Sameer Dash defended, “It’s true that Dakota aircraft isn’t back yet. It will be brought back by this Government led by Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik.”

Lampooning Dharmendra Pradhan’s statement, he also shot back, “Their Government has least chance of coming to power here, no need of boasting like that.”

“Such statement is being fanned out in a distorted form. All efforts are on to get back the iconic Dakota aircraft, a memorial of Biju Babu. Very soon the people of Odisha will witness it. Odisha Government has done a lot for preservation of Biju Babu’s memorials and this will also be done,” the BJD spokesperson assured.

Notably on January 10, 2018, the then Collector of Cuttack had told media that the iconic Dakota aircraft of Biju Patnaik will be showcased at Anand Bhawan, his birth place. The then Cuttack Collector Susant Kumar Mahapatra had told media that the aircraft would be dismantled and brought to Odisha in three separate pieces and re-assembled in the millennium city.

He had also informed that a platform would be constructed at Anand Bhawan to hold the aircraft for public view.

Biju Babu’s Dakota is one of the sturdiest aircrafts that is gathering dust at Kolkata airport presently.

Sources said that the talks are underway with airport authorities of Netaji Subhas Bose International Airport in Kolkata for the purpose of bringing the aircraft back to Odisha.

In January 2015, Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik and his elder brother Prem Patnaik had donated their Cuttack city-based ancestral home Anand Bhawan property, including half an acre plot and 5,000 sqft building, to the State Government after which it has been converted into a museum named after Biju Babu.

Also Read: Biju Jayanti: PM Modi, Odisha CM Pay Homage To 'The Tall Man' Of Odisha

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Dharmendra Pradhan, Union Petroleum Minister

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Sameer Dash, Spokesperson, BJD