Baijayant Panda suspended from BJD

DGCA to probe Baijayant Panda’s helicopter flying over Chilika Lake

Bhubaneswar: The Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) will probe into the allegations of former Kendrapara MP Baijayant Panda’s helicopter flying over eco-sensitive Zone of Chilika Lake.

Biju Patnaik International Airport (BPCA) director Suresh Chandra Hota said the black box data from the chopper will be investigated to establish its flight details and whether it had flown low over the sanctuary.

“When any aircraft flies as low as 500-ft above the ground, it is difficult to avail any data as we lose contact with the chopper after 10-15 miles from the Bhubaneswar Airport,” he added.

He said the former MP had taken permission from the airport authorities along with a proper flight plan.

Notably, Puri police on Monday seized Baijayant Panda’s helicopter and hangar for allegedly violating rules by flying over Chilika Lake.

The helicopter is registered under the name of Indian Metals and Ferro Alloys (IMFA), a company owned by Panda’s family.

Reacting to this, Forest and Environment Minister Bijayshree Routray said IMFA chopper has not done the correct thing by flying near a protected area.

“An FIR has already been filed in this regard. Action will be taken as per the law so that such type of incidents does not occur again,” said the Minister.