Biju Babu’s Dakota Plane Finally Coming To Odisha!
Bhubaneswar: The iconic Dakota DC-3 aircraft that former Odisha CM, Late Biju Patnaik had used to rescue Indonesia’s then vice president and prime minister during heightened tensions in 1947, will soon be brought back to Odisha for the public to reminisce the valour of the legendary leader.
A letter to bring the aircraft back to Odisha will be sent to the Union Civil Aviation Ministry soon, informed Manoj Mishra, the special secretary of the Odisha Transport Department after an in-principle decision was taken regarding the same in a meeting at the Lok Seva Bhawan today.
Mishra further said, “We are going to write a letter to the Civil Aviation Ministry to bring it back to Odisha from Kolkata airport, where it is lying defunct. Though the place, where it will be displayed hasn’t been decided yet, we will put it up in some place safe where the integrity of the historic aircraft could be preserved.”
Welcoming the decision, BJD Vice President Debi Mishra said, “Late Biju Babu used that aircraft in a dare devil mission to rescue Indonesian vice-president and prime minister from Jakarta. It’s great news that Odisha government is planning to bring it to Odisha. It would be an ode to the legend.”
It’s worth mentioning here that late Biju Patnaik, the father of CM Naveen Patnaik was an avid pilot and served in World War-II. He had reportedly flown the DC-3 to rescue former Indonesian Vice-President Muhammad Hatta and Prime Minister Sutan Sjahrir from their enemies in 1947 for which he was accorded the honour of ‘Bhumi Putra’, the highest civilian award in Indonesia.
This is not the first time that the Odisha government has thought of bringing the Dakota aircraft to Odisha. In December 2019, Priyadarshan Patnaik, the convenor of a religious outfit based in Puri had alleged that Odisha chief secretary was asked to bring the aircraft back in 2017, but unfortunately no step was taken by the Odisha government regarding the same.