Gujarat govt spends Rs 20 crore on maintenance of aircraft bought for Rs 198 crore in 2019

Minister of Civil Aviation Balvantsinh Rajput was responding to starred questions posed by Congress MLAs Imran Khedawala and Arjun Modhwadia.

Published: 11th March 2023 08:36 AM  |   Last Updated: 11th March 2023 08:36 AM   |  A+A-

Bhupendra Patel

Gujarat CM Bhupendra Patel.

Express News Service

AHMEDABAD: The Gujarat government reported to the state Assembly on Friday that it has spent Rs 20.8 crore for operation and maintenance in over two years on a new aircraft that the government purchased for Rs 198 crore in November 2019.

Minister of Civil Aviation Balvantsinh Rajput was responding to starred questions posed by Congress MLAs Imran Khedawala and Arjun Modhwadia. In two years leading up to December 31, 2022, the state government reported spending a total of Rs 36 crore on the operation and maintenance of the two airplanes and a helicopter it owns.

For the operation and maintenance of the twin-engine Bombardier Challenger 650, which was purchased in November 2019 for Rs 197.90 crore, the government paid two private agencies Rs 20.80 crore for a two-year period, ending December 31, 2022. As of January 31, 2023, the aircraft had travelled 183 times, it stated. The Minister said that between January 31, 2023, and the end of the second year, 486 journeys were made using the state’s two airplanes and one helicopter.

In two years, the government spent Rs 7.4 crore on the chopper and Rs 8.04 crore on the operating and upkeep of the older jet. The CM and other dignitaries were given access to the posh Bombardier Challenger 650. According to civil aviation department authorities, it can transport 12 passengers and has a flying range of about 7,000 km, which is far higher than the outdated Beechcraft Super King aircraft that had been in operation for 20 years.

House resolution seeks tough action against BBC docu
The Gujarat Assembly on Friday passed a resolution urging the Centre to act against BBC for tarnishing the image and popularity of Prime Minister Narendra Modi with its documentary on the 2002 riots in the state. 

The two-part series by the BBC titled ‘India: The Modi Question’ misrepresents the events of 2002 in a malicious and low-level attempt to tarnish India’s image globally, BJP MLA Vipul Patel said in the House while moving the resolution. 

The documentary claims to have probed certain aspects of the riots, which took place after the Godhra train-burning incident when Modi was the state CM. The documentary was banned in India soon after its release.  Patel’s resolution was supported by BJP MLAs Manisha Vakil, Amit Thaker, Dhavalsinh Zala and minister Harsh Sanghavi. ENS


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