₹33-cr Madhya Pradesh govt aircraft sold to scrap dealer
After seven failed attempts at auctioning a helicopter worth ₹33 crores, the Madhya Pradesh government has sold the chopper to an aircraft scrap dealer for ₹2.57 crore, officials said.
The helicopter, Bel 430 VT MPS, was purchased by the state government in 1998. The state aviation department was looking for a buyer for the past 10 years.
In an auction which was opened on May 31, a company, FA Enterprises, owned by aviation scrap dealer and aircraft maintenance engineer Naim Raza, won the bid against the offset price of ₹2.24 crore, aviation department director Bharat Yadav said.
The helicopter had met with an accident in 2003 when popular singer Anuradha Paudwal was on her way to attend an event. Paudwal and Rajendra Singh Raghuvanshi, personal assistant to the then chief minister Digvijaya Singh, were injured in the incident.
Since the aircraft was not insured, the government did not receive any claim. It was subsequently repaired and in 2012, kept on sale as its manufacturer, Rolls Royce, had stopped producing its parts, the officials cited above said.
“We don’t see the qualification of the buyer. Two buyers made the bid and FA Enterprises won it. Had we failed this time too, it could have caused heavy loss to the government,” Yadav said.
Naim Raza had purchased aircraft engines and other parts earlier too.
Raza said the aircraft will be repaired and used for flying again.
“My friend will get it repaired by the experts,” Raza said.