Chopper row: Jay Panda appears before DGCA

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Bhubaneswar: Former Kendrapara MP Baijayant Panda today appeared before the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) at its Delhi office in connection with allegedly hovering on his chopper over the ‘eco-sensitive zone’ of Chilika lagoon on September 15.

It may be mentioned here that DGCA had yesterday issued notice to Panda asking to appear before it on Monday.

Earlier, on September 17, Puri police seized the chopper based on a complaint lodged by Assistant Conservator of Forests (ACF), Chilika Development Authority (CDA), Binod Acharya with the Marine Police Station at Arakhakuda in Puri.

Later, Biju Patnaik International Airport (BPCA) director Suresh Chandra Hota had informed that DGCA will probe into the allegations.

The forest official had alleged that a low-flying white helicopter hovered over Arakhakuda within the restricted area of the lagoon and attempted to land there at around 1.30 pm.

Meanwhile, some local claimed that a sea plane landed on the lake near Arakhakuda and flew away after a few minutes of stay.

However, Panda had refuted the allegations levelled against him saying that he flew over Rajhans-Puri-Konark and landed at Kendrapara at 10.28 am and later flew from Kendrapara at 12.50 pm and landed at Bhubaneswar at 1.30 pm, not at Chilika.

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