The Biju Patnaik Airport authorities here today demolished a structure close to the runway ahead of Prime Minister Manmohan Singh’s Orissa visit tomorrow, officials said.
The action came in the wake of President Pratibha Patil’s chopper blade hitting the same structure after landing at the government hanger here on December 9.
“We do not want to take a risk again. The authorities decided to remove the old structure used as a godown by the weather office before the prime minister’s visit on Sunday,” a senior airport official said.
President Patil, who was returning from Konark and Puri, had a narrow escape along with her husband and Orissa governor M. C. Bhandare, as the 16-seater MI-17 IAF chopper in which they were travelling hit the structure after landing.
Meanwhile, elaborate security arrangements were being made for Dr. Singh’s second visit to the state. He had last visited the state in August 2006, they said.
While the SPG was in charge of the prime minister’s security at the airport and meeting venues, the Orissa Police was being assigned the job of security in the outer circle, a senior official said.