Odisha Sun Times Bureau
Bhubaneswar, Feb 4:
An 18 feet tall bronze statue of former Odisha Chief Minister Biju Patnaik has been installed in the premises of Biju Patnaik International Airport (BPIA) ahead of the Biju centenary celebrations next month.
Though the statue has not been inaugurated, it has been installed on eve of the scheduled two-day visit of Prime Minister Narendra Modi from February 6. The huge sculpture will welcome the visitors entering and leaving the airport.
With the state geared up to celebrate the birth centenary celebrations of Biju Patnaik on March 5, the Cultural department, which was delaying the project for last 2 years, has installed the statue over a month ahead of the event.
Prior to the city airport got the international airport tag, the state government had envisaged to install the statuette. The state Culture Department had mooted the programmed but it took three years to turn it into a reality. An organization named Electro Media was given the job of creation and installation of the 18 feet full body bronze figure of Biju Patnaik. The newly-installed statue is hardly 200 metre away from another statue of the legendary leader which stands tall in front of the domestic airport terminal.
The statue that has been build at a cost of Rs 18, 98,000 was given a go ahead on 18 December 2013 and was supposed to be completed in three months.
According to a senior official, they were instructed to install the statue before the Prime Minister’s February 6 visit to Odisha.
Notably, the state government is demanding Bharat Ratna for the architect of modern Odisha.
The statue will be inaugurated by Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik on the occasion of birth centenary or ahead of it.