An executive engineer in Koraput district was suspended on charges of dereliction in his duty after Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik was left air-borne in a chopper for about 45 minutes on Thursday.
After completing his programme at Jeypore, Patnaik left for Kotpad at 12.40 pm and was scheduled to arrive at 12.55 pm but he could not land until 1.35 pm at Kotpad, a senior state official said.
The Public Works Department - entrusted to prepare the helipad for landing of the chief minister’s chopper - had to provide the details of the location, including the latitude, longitude and altitude, but could not provide timely information to the pilot resulting in the delay, the official said.
The pilot kept scouting for the location and the Chief Minister remained mid-air for 45 minutes, the official added. Following the development, the Executive Engineer of Jeypore division was placed under suspension, Works Department Secretary Nalin Kanta Pradhan said.
The official’s name was not given. Earlier, at Jeypore the chief minister had reiterated his government’s commitment for tribal development.