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Complaints from pilots? Laser show at Kolkata’s ‘Burj Khalifa’ pandal stopped

Complaints from pilots? Laser show at Kolkata's 'Burj Khalifa' pandal stopped thumbnail

The laser lights at an iconic pandal in Kolkata modelled on Dubai’s Burj Khalifa were switched off on a day at least three airline pilots complained about it.

Sources said three pilots on Tuesday complained about the lights at the pandal saying it created difficulties for them while going in to land at the Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose Airport.

“Flight movements have been affected due to the lighting system at Sreebhumi Durga Puja Pandal in South Dumdum. Captains from three different flights lodged a complaint with the Kolkata ATC. The ATC has already informed Kolkata Airport Authority,” a source at the airport said.

The pandal is close to 150 feet high with elaborate laser lights, and is along the glide path to the airport which is only a few kilometres away.

Laser lights can momentarily blind the pilot in the cockpit and prove hazardous especially when the flight is landing.

West Bengal CM Mamata Banerjee had voiced her reservations about the height and the laser lights on the pandal when she went there on Monday to inaugurate it.

The pandal in question belongs to the Sreebhumi Sporting Club of the Lake town area of Kolkata, and is a big draw among pandal hoppers in the state capital.

CM Banerjee asked the organisers how the fire department could give approval to the pandal as it was towering well above allowed limits.

Incidentally, the organiser and chief patron of the puja pandal is none other than Fire and Emergency Services Minister Sujit Bose.

No official explanation was given why the lights were switched off, but some reports quoted the organisers as saying it was to “prevent overcrowding.”

“We decided to suspend the laser show as revellers were refusing to move on and were recording it on their cellphones. As a result, crowd control was becoming a challenge,” said Dibyendu Goswami, chief coordinator of the puja committee.

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