JK to add another chopper to its fleet

State Already Has 1 Fixed-Wing Aircraft, 2 Helicopters


Jammu, Apr 10: Jammu and Kashmir Government is contemplating to add one more helicopter to its air-fleet, which has cost around Rs 12 crore to the State exchequer during the last three years.
Official sources said the Government is contemplating to purchase Agusta-109, a twin-engine helicopter, and a formal proposal in this regard has been formulated by the Civil Aviation Department headed by Chief Minister. “The proposal is at the initial stage and the matter would be soon taken up with the Finance Department for seeking clearance,” sources told Greater Kashmir.
The State has already a fleet of one fixed-wing aircraft (King Air- 350) and two helicopters (Bell 407 and Agusta-109 E). The Agusta-109 Twin Engine Helicopter purchased in 2005 from M/s Agusta Westland had cost Jammu and Kashmir a whopping 44,11,500 US Dollars. This time the cost is expected to be higher.
The helicopter is being presently used for the movement of Governor, Chief Minister, Ministers and senior officers to remote and inaccessible areas.
Official figures reveal that the State Government has so far spent 5,52,12,091 US Dollars on its fleet purchased during the last 10 years.
The aircrafts are also used for evacuation of patients in emergencies.
A Fixed-Wing Super King Aircraft A-350 was purchased in 2007 from M/s Raytheon Aircraft, USA, at a cost of 65,50,616 US Dollars. However, the old fixed-wing aircraft was sold by the State to the same company at a cost of 16,50,000 US Dollars. The aircraft is being used for movement of Governor, Chief Minister and Ministers in Srinagar, Jammu, Delhi, Leh and Kargil sectors, an official said.
The State Government purchased Bell 407 Single Engine Helicopter in 2002 from M/s Bell Helicopter Asia (PTF) Limited Singapore at a cost of 17,99,975 US Dollars.
“It is used for movement of ministers, legislators, and senior officers of the Government for overseeing the development works. This helicopter is also used for evacuation of patients, casualties in emergencies”, officials said.
The State Government has, during the past three years, incurred an expenditure of around Rs 12 crore on the State plane and chopper sorties to facilitate movement of dignitaries including Chief Minister, Governor and other VVIPs.
Govt justifies the purchase of new helicopter on the point that the State needs such arrangements as it has geographically isolated areas, with some areas remaining cut off during winter.
“The Government functionaries have to reach out to these remote areas to make on the spot assessment of the problems of people. These machines have enabled the State machinery to reach far-flung areas of the State for monitoring of ongoing developmental works and also to ensure availability of food grains, kerosene oil and other amenities,” Minister In-charge Civil Aviation told the Legislative Assembly recently.

Lastupdate on : Wed, 10 Apr 2013 21:30:00 Makkah time
Lastupdate on : Wed, 10 Apr 2013 18:30:00 GMT
Lastupdate on : Thu, 11 Apr 2013 00:00:00 IST

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