State

Biju Patnaik's iconic Dakota aircraft to be kept at Anand Bhawan

Cuttack: Process has started to bring the iconic DC-3 aircraft in which Biju Patnaik rescued Indonesia's former Vice President and Prime Minister in his famous heroic act in 1947 back to Odisha.

The Dakota aircraft has been lying neglected as a piece of scrap in an abandoned corner of Netaji Subhas Bose International Airport, Kolkata, will be dismantled into three parts for transport. Later, it will be reassembled and displayed in front of Anand Bhawan, the birth place of Biju Patnaik, said Cuttack Collector Sushant Mohapatra.

However, researcher Anil Dhir, who located and identified the plane at Kolkata airport around five years back and since been trying to bring it to Odisha in different forums said it will be a fitting tribute to Biju Patnaik if the aircraft is placed at the Biju Patnaik International Airport in Bhubaneswar as a State treasure.

Meanwhile, the Cuttack Collector and Cuttack-Barabati MLA Debashish Samantray inspected an open field located behind the Anand Bhawan.

The Dakota aircraft was a part of the fleet of 18 Dakota planes of Kalinga Airlines set up by Biju Patnaik used in the Kashmir operation in 1947-48 ferrying troops to Srinagar and carrying medical assistance and other supplies.

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