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Airborne Hooda costs exchequer a bomb

Despite having a helicopter and an aircraft at its disposal, the state government has been spending huge sums on hiring private helicopters to keep the chief minister airborne.

punjab Updated: Feb 28, 2014 00:55 IST
Sat Singh

Despite having a helicopter and an aircraft at its disposal, the state government has been spending huge sums on hiring private helicopters to keep the chief minister airborne.

The government had spent a whopping Rs 6 crore on hiring private helicopters from 2005 to 2012 for chief minister's official visits and spent another Rs 5 crore on maintenance and repair (barring fuel charges) of the government's own aircraft and chopper in the same period.

Rohtak based RTI activist Subhash (goes by first name only), state convener of Suchna Adhikar Manch, has procured this information from the adviser, civil aviation, Haryana, Chandigarh recently.

According to information, state government had purchased an aircraft (VIP Super King, Air B 200, VT-HRA) in 2005 and a helicopter (VIP EC 145(VT-HRY)) in 2009. The cost of the aircraft was US $4,19,12,500 (`260 crore approx). These were used by the chief minister for his official visits between 2005 and 2012.

Cost on maintenance and repair of govt's own aircraft, chopper
2005-06: Rs 15 lakh
2006-07: Rs 21 lakh
2007-08: Rs 26 lakh
2008-09: Rs 17 lakh
2009-10: Rs 36 lakh
2010-11: Rs 45 crore
2011-12: Rs 1.26 crore
2012-13: Rs 81 lakh (up to March only)

Money spent on hiring private helicopters
2005-06: Rs 5.72 lakh
2006-07: Rs 59.77 lakh
2007-08: Rs 1.48 crore
2008-09: Rs 2.45 crore
2009-10: Rs 99.75 lakh
2010-11: Rs 14.44 lakh
2011-12: Rs 11.36 lakh