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Baijayant Panda gets DGCA relief in Chilika copter row

In a letter to the director of Bhubaneswar airport, the DGCA said there was no violation of rules.

india Updated: Oct 26, 2018 23:10 IST
Debabrata Mohanty
Debabrata Mohanty
Hindustan Times, Bhubanesar
Baijayant Panda,Chilika copter row
Former BJD lawmaker Baijayant Panda.(HT File Photo)

Aviation regulator Director General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) on Thursday gave a clean chit to former Biju Janata Dal (BJD) MP Baijayant Panda, who was accused of flying his chopper low over lake Chilika, Asia’s largest brackish water lake and a ‘no-fly zone’.

The Chilika Development Authority had lodged a case with the Marine police station Arakhkuda on September 17 over allegations that a chopper reportedly piloted by Panda two days earlier flew very low over the lake.

In a letter to the director of Bhubaneswar airport, the DGCA said there was no violation of rules. “... Based on fact and evidence, it could not be established that the helicopter has flown dangerously below the assigned altitude or have landed at Chilika Lake on September 15, 2018,” the DGCA letter said.

After the DGCA relief, Panda tweeted: “Satyameva Jayate. Total clean chit by DGCA on Odisha government's cooked-up charges on me and my helicopter flying & sealing a hangar at Bhubaneswar Airport for the past 1.5 months, immobilising 3 choppers (incl 2 against which thr were no allegations whatsoever)!"

BJD leaders refused to comment on the development.

First Published: Oct 26, 2018 23:10 IST