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Old 04-10-17   #1
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Large Aircraft Fuselage on Roadside Near Delhi

Travelling between Delhi and Sonipat (Haryana) a few years ago, I saw a large aircraft body beside the highway. I'm sure it catches the attention of anyone seeing it for the first time. I was particularly intrigued because I'm an aircraft enthusiast. It's definitely a medium-sized passenger plane and it looked to me like one of the Airbus A320 family.

It keeps popping up in my mind from time to time and I finally did a search for it. Sure enough, it's the wingless fuselage of an Airbus A320 that was retired by Air India and sold as scrap for Rs.18 lakhs to one Rakesh Dixit who intended to turn it into a Sai Baba temple.

I wanted to see if it can be viewed in Google Earth but I didn't make a note of its exact location while passing near it. In any case, I'm not very familiar with the area and it would have been difficult for me to find a point of reference anyway. One thing I'm fairly sure of is that it's closer to Delhi than to Sonipat. Further searches told me that the fuselage had been placed in Alipur. So I pored over the highway passing through Alipur in Google Earth at a high zoom level but couldn't spot the plane's body.

Does anyone know if it's obscured by trees from overhead view or if the top is too discoloured for easy identification? Do you know the exact location and can give the co-ordinates?

---------- Post added at 10:00 PM ---------- Previous post was at 09:26 PM ----------

Never mind. It seems the plane was dismantled in 2015 on government orders. The reason given seems to be that it was on agricultural land and that it could distract drivers on the highway.

The reasons given by the government sound flimsy to me. There could be something to Dixit's claim that the order was the result of a conspiracy by business rivals.
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Old 05-10-17   #2
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Re: Large Aircraft Fuselage on Roadside Near Delhi

Now that I know that the plane was removed since the time I went past it, I can see it in Google Earth by rolling back in time in historical view mode. It's there in varying orientations from November 20, 2012 to February 19, 2015 but not on August 29, 2015.

I was sorry to learn about its forced removal. Its use in connection with a mandir has no significance for me as I'm of a different religion, but I admire Rakesh Dixit's imaginative use of what would otherwise be scrap metal. He said that it would also serve as a museum. I detest the pettiness of those government officials who ordered its removal on flimsy grounds, as well as those of Dixit's rivals.
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