Odisha Sun Times Bureau
Bhubaneswar, Feb 22:
The Odisha government today urged the Centre to declare Biju Patnaik International Airport (BPIA) as the embarkation point for the Haj pilgrims of the state from Haj-2016 onwards instead of Netaji Subash Chandra Bose International Airport, Kolkata.
“Haj pilgrims from states of Bihar and Jharkhand use Gaya airport and Ranchi airport for embarkation. Madhya Pradesh uses two airports and Maharashtra uses three airports as the embarkation points for Haj pilgrims. This year more than 600 persons from Odisha are expected to undertake the pilgrimage. It will help the pilgrims if their journey could be done directly from Bhubaneswar,” Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik wrote to Union Civil Aviation Minister A Gajapathi Raju today.
“I would therefore request you to declare BPIA as the embarkation point for the Haj pilgrims of the state of Odisha from Haj-2016 onwards,” the Chief Minister stated in his letter.