Flying Over Chilika: Baijayant Panda Appears Before DGCA In Delhi

Bhubaneswar: Amid allegations of flying over Chilika Lake violating the norms, former Kendrapara MP Baijayant Panda appeared in the Director General Civil Aviation’s (DGCA) office in New Delhi on Monday.

The DGCA had served a notice on him to appear in person at its Delhi office.

Coming out of the DGCA office, Baijayant said, “I have submitted all the documents that the DGCA had asked for. All allegations against me are false. The information has also been changed five times.”

Besides details of the flight plan, the former MP said that he had submitted proof about being in touch on radio control with Air Traffic Control and photographic evidence.

“Helicopters have earlier been flown over Chillka. Despite several complaints being lodged in police stations, no action has been initiated. This is ploy to restrain my movement and stop me from meeting people,” he said.

“I hope the DGCA will do justice to me,” he added.

Notably, on September 17, the Odisha police had seized Baijayant’s helicopter and the hangar on charges of making an undeclared landing in the lake.

This followed a complaint lodged by Assistant Conservator of Forests, Chilika Development Authority (CDA), Binod Acharya in this regard at the Marine Police Station in Arakhkuda in Puri. The FIR mentioned about unauthorised flying of a chopper at a dangerous level, endangering the life and property of tourists, fishermen and locals.

Though Baijayant admitted of having flown his helicopter the same day, he said it landed in Bhubaneswar at a different time, which can be checked from the ATC record.

A seaplane reportedly landed at Nanganashi mouth of Chilika at 1.30 pm on September 15 leaving everyone in the locality confused and stunned. The chopper, Baijayant had tweeted, reached Bhubaneswar at 1.30 pm.

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