Recently Odia News channel Odisha TV (OTV) ‘s a senior journalist the police restrained Ramesh Rath from near his residence. The reason which alleged was due to Rath’s report regarding Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik’s air survey of flood in the state. According to OTV Rath was allegedly picked from near his residence by the police.
The media house further informed that around five persons identified as policemen coercive dented their senior journalist and took him to an unknown location. Rath’s phone was taken away instantly and was not allowed to make any sort of contact with his family or friends.
On 31st August CM conducted an aerial survey of the flood-hit districts in the state and had declared financial aid to the affected families. But later OTV questioned the report of the aerial survey of the flood-hit areas by the CM. The media house claimed that the official records of helicopter operations do not confirm the claim that CM had conducted the aerial survey. This claim by OTV based on the responses to an RTI query. RTI responds obtained by OTV had shown that only one helicopter of OSS Air Management had driven off from the Bhubaneswar Airport at 10:12 AM on 31st August and returned at 10:31 AM.
The report by OTV also claims that the chopper took off and returned to the airport in 19 minutes which involved a flight time of only nine and a half minutes. The report had said that flood-affected Jaipur is 45 sailing miles from Bhubaneswar, which means the return journey is 90 sailing miles. The VTOSH chopper in which Odisha CM flew has a maximum speed of 168 knots and to cover 90 nautical miles in 19 minutes; a craft needs to have a full speed of 270 knots. They even mentioned that there was no VVIP movement on that particular day, as per the acknowledgement to the RTI query. Based on these views, OTV had raised a question on the aerial survey done by the CM.
But the claim of OTV was utterly rejected by the Airport Authority of India (AAI), saying the CM indeed conducted the aerial survey on that day. The AAI wrote a letter to Joint Secretary to Odisha Chief Minister giving complete clarification regarding the Chief Minister’s air travel.
Now the new channel has landed itself to another controversy, as reports say that the channel showed aired false news on CM. The AAI without disclosing the name of the news channel said that there was some sort of miscommunication in the media about the flight details and the timing. The AAI further clarified that the Chief Minister’s flight departed on 31.08.2020 at 1012 UTC (15421ST) from Bhubaneswar and landed back at Bhubaneswar at 1031UTC (1601 IST). The helicopter which was used by CM is high quality and twin-engine copper. This sort of chopper usually takes maximum 5-6 mints of air time to reach the flood-affected area from Bhubaneswar.
Article Written by Dikhya Mohanty
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