Bird-hit threat: Airport authorities mull diversion of drain

Bhubaneswar: Aware of the bird threat to the flights during their arrival and departure, plans are underway by the authorities of the Biju Patnaik International Airport to divert an open drain passing along the runway which has become the main attraction for the avians.

Sources said the open drain originating from Bharatput area on the outskirts of the city, passes through Baramunda, areas adjacent to Odisha University of Agriculture Technology (OAUT) and flows besides Biju Patnaik International Airport.

Carrying effluents, the open drain emanates stench smell and attracts large number of local birds which pose constant threat to the incoming and outgoing flights.

Sources in the airport said there have been a number of cases of bird hits in the recent past.

As informed by Sharad Kumar, director of the Biju Patnaik International Airport, there have been 19 bird hits in 2011, 18 in 2012, 10 each in 2013 and 2014 and 11 bird hits till November this year.

“Judging by the number of bird hits, it would pose serious problem in future if corrective measures are not taken at the earliest,”, he pointed out.

Asked about the issue, Mayor of Bhubaneswar Municipal Corporation (BMC) Anant Narayan Jena said the corporation would take necessary steps if the airport authorities take up the matter with the Water Resources department and the latter gives specific instruction to the BMC.

“After receiving instruction from the Water Resources department, we will decide the course of diversion of the drain. Besides, we will have to see whether the diversion level of the drain permits its disposal level.

Presently, the airport handles a total of 38 flights from its two terminals of which two are scheduled international flights.