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Odisha renames Wheeler Island as Abdul Kalam Island

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BHUBANESWAR (PTI): The Odisha government has renamed the Wheeler Island in Bhadrak district as Abdul Kalam Island.

"It's a humble tribute to the People's President. The Wheeler Island will henceforth be named as Abdul Kalam Island," Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik said on Sept 4.

APJ Abdul Kalam had passed away at 83 in Meghalaya last month. He had suffered a massive cardiac arrest.

Patnaik said the association of Kalam with Odisha and the state's former chief minister Biju Patnaik was well known.

"It was Biju Babu (Naveen's father) who allotted this historic Wheeler Island to the Ministry of Defence on the request of Dr Kalam in the year 1993," Patnaik recalled.

"Renaming the island as Abdul Kalam island will inspire our youngsters to work dedicatedly for the scientific research," Patnaik said.

The island was named after an English commandant Lieutenant Wheeler.

The first successful land-to-land test firing of the indigenously-developed Prithvi missile was conducted from the mainland and it landed on the then uninhabited 'Wheeler Island' on November 30, 1993.

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