Odisha for Biju Patnaik Airport as Haj embarkation point

BHUBANESWAR: Odisha chief minister Naveen Patnaik on Monday appealed the centre to declare the Biju Patnaik International Airport here as the embarkation point for the Haj pilgrims instead of the NSCB International Airport in Kolkata.

In a letter to Union Civil Aviation Minister Gajapathi Raju, Patnaik said Haj pilgrims of Bihar and Jharkhand were allowed to use Gaya airport as the embarkation point.

Similarly, Haj pilgrims of Madhya Pradesh and Maharashtra use airports in their respective states.

“This year about 600 persons from Odisha are expected to undertake the pilgrimage. It will help the pilgrims if their journey can be done directly from Bhubaneswar,” Patnaik said in the letter.