Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) has slammed both the ministry of home affairs (MHA) and Border Security Force (BSF) for purchasing six helicopters for BSF worth Rs 125.29 crore without ensuring necessary infrastructure to position them on desired locations, pilots to fly them and staff to handle its operations, which resulted in idling of these helicopters.
"Six MI-17 helicopters purchased by the MHA at Rs 125.29 crore in 2003 were parked at Safdarjung Airport, New Delhi, instead of being optimally utilized for meeting its operational requirement in North East and Jammu and Kashmir area," the CAG report tabled on Tuesday in the Parliament said.
The report said that necessary infrastructure, like hangers for parking the helicopters at designated places in these states had not been created, even after seven years of sanction of Rs 7 crore for the purpose.
"Besides, having to incur avoidable expenditure of Rs 9.18 crore on sorties from Delhi to these areas, BSF also continued to depend on Indian Air Force (IAF) for its operations".
The helicopters were meant for carrying troops to meet counter insurgency situations, to check infiltration and for intelligence related operations in North East and Jammu and Kashmir.
The report said that the helicopters had been utilised for 5787 flying hours between 2004-05 to 2009-10, against the projected utilisation of 18900 flying hours, and BSF also spent Rs 20.15 crore for hiring helicopters from IAF for air-lifting and ration dropping, which could have been minimized through utilisation of its own helicopters.
The report states that the Airport Authority of India levied a sum of Rs 9.32 crore on BSF towards license fee and conservancy charges for parking the helicopters at Safdarjung Airport for the period from 2004-05 to 2009-10.
"The reply of BSF confirms that the helicopters were not being utilized for the intended objectives in absence of suitably located parking facilities and trained manpower, and continued dependence of BSF on IAF for its operations," CAG report said.