BHUBANESWAR: Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik was left hanging in air for more than 45 minutes after his chopper missed the coordinates for landing at Kotpad in Koraput district on Thursday afternoon.
With the aircraft not making it to Kotpad on time, rumour mills went on the overdrive over the CM missing in air.
However, sources in the State Police said, the wrong coordinates sent for landing left the pilot looking for the exact spot. Since Koraput is a Maoist-affected region, the news spread like wildfire.
Naveen had gone on to Koraput for laying foundation stone for new projects and handing out welfare benefits to beneficiaries at Jeypore as well as Kotpad. The chopper landed at Jeypore on time and took off for Kotpad at about 12.40 pm. However, till 1.30 pm, the chopper carrying CM and his officials did not show up triggering speculation.
“Since the coordinates sent to the pilot from Koraput was wrong, the helicopter kept hovering in air for more than 45 minutes looking for the landing spot. As soon as the SP and DIG, who were coordinating the matter, came to know about the delay, rectified coordinates were sent in following which the chopper landed at the public meeting spot,” said sources.
Koraput SP CS Meena said, there was a little delay in the CM’s arrival at Kotpad which will be inquired into.
State Police sources said, the wrong coordinates were a matter of “bureaucratic error” but claimed that at no point of time there was any loss of contact with the chopper. “We were continuously in touch with the chopper’s pilot so there was no question of the CM’s aircraft missing from the radar or in air,” sources informed.