Odisha Sun Times Bureau
Bhubaneswar, Jun 11:
Odisha government has urged the Centre to declare the airspace over the Grand Road in Puri as no-fly zone during the Nabakalebara festival for safety reasons, official sources said on Wednesday.
“Steps may be taken not to allow choppers or aircrafts to fly over Badadanda (Grand Road) during the festival on July 18, July 26 and July 27 due to safety reasons,” C R Patra, Joint Secretary in the General Administration (GA) department wrote to Director, Bureau of Civil Aviation Security, New Delhi.
The letter was also sent to Director, Biju Patnaik International Airport (BPIA) and Director, Air Traffic Control (ATC), Bhubaneswar.
Quoting the recommendation of ADG of Odisha police in charge of law and order to suspend flight operations over Grand Road, Patra requested the Director, Bureau of Civil Aviation Security to treat the matter as “extremely urgent.”
The government is seeking a temporary ban on flight operations around Lord Jagannath temple especially on three days– July 18, July 26 and July 27—as an estimated 25 lakh people are expected to witness the festival.
While July 18, 2015 will be celebrated as Rath Jatra Day, the Lords’ return car festival (Bahuda) will be observed on July 26 and the deities would adorn their golden attire (Suna Besha) next day on July 27.
As per government’s estimate, around 50 lakh people are expected to descend on the holy town during Nabakalebara festival scheduled to be held next month which is observed in a span of 19 years.