Planetarium shut as lightning strikes

Schoolchildren and tourists are upset, as Pathani Samanta Planetarium is not holding any shows since Friday. The machines of the planetarium have gone out of operation, as it was hit by lightning.

By Our Correspondent in Bhubaneshwar
  • Published 14.10.17
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Bhubaneswar, Oct. 9: Schoolchildren and tourists are upset, as Pathani Samanta Planetarium is not holding any shows since Friday. The machines of the planetarium have gone out of operation, as it was hit by lightning.

Aditi Mohanty, a class V student of the DAV Public School in Unit-VII, said: "I had gone with my friends to see the show at the planetarium. But, as it is not operating, we went to the nearby regional science park."

Usha Patra, who recently visited Bhubaneswar along with her husband, also didn't get the chance to see any shows at the planetarium. "With are sad because the planetarium is one of the major attractions of Bhubaneswar," Usha said.

A number of tourists from across the country are complaining that the authorities should properly notify about the closure of the planetarium as its website doesn't have any notification in this regard. The Pathani Samanta Planetarium was the only planetarium in the state until last month when another planetarium came up at Burla in Sambalpur.

An official said: "The planetarium was hit by lightning despite several preventive measures. Since then, its machines have gone out of operation."

He further said: "The authorities are in touch with the technicians of Mumbai to repair the planetarium at the earliest."

The planetarium was set up in the name of astronomer Pathani Samanta. At present, it hosts four general shows everyday, including two Odia shows, titled Mysteries of Night Sky, one Hindi show titled Wonders of the Universe and one show in English titled Secrets of the Sky. It remains closed on Monday.

"We organise special shows for students who come in a batch. The cost of a ticket for a child is around Rs 20 and the ticket of an adult costs Rs 30," the official said. The present capacity of the planetarium is 165.

The digital equipment at the planetarium was installed at a cost of Rs 5.5 crore in 2012. The new digital equipment is now projecting 3D motion pictures and providing latest information in astronomy and space science.