With no aeroplane of its own, the state government has spent around Rs 2.70 crore to fly its VVIPs, including chief minister Manohar Lal Khattar and governor Kaptan Singh Solanki, in the past 10 months.
Information sought under the right to information (RTI) by an SAS Nagar resident reveals that the state government hired helicopters or aircraft from four private aviation companies - Arrow Aircraft Sales and Charters Pvt Ltd, Air Charter Services Pvt Ltd, Shaurya Aeronautics Pvt Ltd and Silverline Aviation Pvt Ltd 57 times - and has so far paid them Rs 1.29 crore.
The reply pertains to state government's expenditure in the context till July, 2015.
The RTI information further reveals the government has yet to pay Rs 1.41 crore spent on flights between February and July, 2015.
Meanwhile, questions are being raised about one of the four companies not having the non-schedule operating permit, mandatory for supplying aircraft or choppers to the state government.
The state government lost its only 10-seater plane - Super King Air B 200 - which it had bought in 2006.
The plane was damaged beyond repair after it caught fire on March 27, 2014, while taking off from Chandigarh for New Delhi with the then governor Jagannath Pahadia on board.
The state government, which got around `14 crore as insurance for the damaged plane, sent three pilots and an aeronautical engineer deployed in its civil
aviation department, home after the accident.
The Punjab and Haryana high court recently stayed the removal of the pilots and the engineer after they approached it.