Posted by: Helicop Aviation | August 11, 2011

BPL man digs out chopper details

A Below Poverty Line (BPL) man has finally been able to dig out vital information under the Right to Information Act regarding the state government’s expenditure on helicopter sorties.
During the past three years, a whopping Rs 12 crore have been spent on the helicopter sorties availed by the state’s VVIPs, including the chief minister and his cabinet colleagues.
The Civil Aviation Department has issued a statement to the BPL man Bashir Ahmad Malik of Drang village in Budgam district, showing the details of expenditure incurred on the usage of state chopper service from 2009 up to June 2011. Bhat had sought the details from the Chief Minister’s office in June this year.

In 2009-2010, the expenditure on the chopper service has been Rs 2, 49, 99,910. This includes maintenance/inspection/examination charges of Rs 2, 09, 14,566, renewal of license charge of Rs 44,265, landing and parking charge of Rs 6, 52, 365 and insurance of aircraft/helicopters charge of Rs 33, 88,714. During this year, the sorties have consumed fuel worth Rs 93, 75, 327 while the salary of pilots amounts to Rs 1, 19, 63, 190. The total expenditure for the year has been over Rs 4 crores.
Scores of trips have been made by the Chief Minister, security personnel and some ministers during 2009 from different places like Jammu to Katra, Gulmarg to Nehru Helipad, Jammu to Rajouri, Rajouri to Sharda Sharief, Nehru Helipad to Srinagar Airport, Nehru Helipad to Ganderbal, Nehru Helipad to SKICC, Pahalgam to Nehru Helipad, SKICC to Ganderbal and others.

During 2010-11, the expenditure on maintenance, license renewal, landing and parking charges and insurance of aircraft and choppers has been Rs 3, 46, 11,046. This is besides the fuel charges of Rs 96, 46, 869 and the salary of pilots amounting to Rs 1, 54, 89,589. The overall expenditure for the year has been Rs 5, 97, 47,504. During this year as well, trips have been made from Jammu to Islamic University, Baramulla to Srinagar, Srinagar to Udhampur, Jammu to Samba, Srinagar to Kupwara, Nehru Helipad to Dachigam, Nehru Helipad to Sunderbani, Nehru Helipad to Ganderbal along with Dr Farooq Abdullah, Leh to Alchi, Gulmarg to Nehru Helipad and others.

During 2011-12 (upto June), the expenditure on maintenance, license renewal, landing and parking charges and insurance of aircraft and choppers has been Rs 11, 60,993. This is besides the fuel consumed for Rs 19, 97,942 and the salary of pilots amounting to Rs 46, 49,692. The overall expenditure this year till June 2011 stands at Rs 78, 08,567. This year the trips have been made from Mattan to Ashmuqam, Nehru Helipad to Jammu, Kishtwar to Jammu, Jammu to Magam, Jammu to Kalakote, Nehru Helipad to Beerwah, Nehru Helipad to SKICC and others.

The Civil Aviation Department has divulged the details to Bashir Ahmad Malik after he filed a complaint before the State Information Commission (SIC) on denial of information by the Chief Minister’s Office, where he had filed the RTI application on 7 June 2011. “I had filed an RTI application before the Public Information Officer of the Chief Minister’s office on 7/6/2011. I have not yet received the reply. Kindly entertain the complaint under section 15 of the J&K RTI Act of 2009 and seek an explanation from the PIO,” Malik wrote in the complaint, duly entertained by the SIC vide receipt No. 648 dated 11.7.2011.
In the application, Malik had sought details of travel undertaken through the state chopper for the last two years (from 2009 till date) and the amount spent on such travel, along with the expenditure on salary of pilots and fuel. He has also sought to know the amount spent by the Hospitality and Protocol Department on various functions since 2009 to 2011 and also the details of persons who have stayed at Circuit House in Jammu and Kashmir. Malik has desired to inspect the guest register of the Department. While Malik has received the chopper details, he is yet to receive other details. The SIC is also yet to list the case for hearing, though it had reportedly shot off a show-cause notice to the Public Information Officer at the CM’s office.
Pertinently the Civil Aviation Department mentions that it has two helicopters and one fixed wing aeroplanes in the inventory. It says a twin engine helicopter (Augusta 109) is primarily used for the movement of Governor, Chief Minster, senior cabinet ministers of Government of India and important dignitaries like the Vice-President, His Holiness Dalai Lama and others. “The other single engine helicopter (Bell 407) is 9 years old and used for communication duties of other state ministers, government officials, officials of Government of India, police in addition to election duties and casualty evacuation from far off places and assistance to civil administration during natural calamities,” the CAD mentions. “The state plane is again used for the movement of Governor, Chief Minister, central ministers and other important dignitaries, state ministers, officials of state and government of India for their movement to Ladakh, Kargil, Delhi, Srinagar, Jammu. Rajouri etc.”


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