Srinagar: Jammu and Kashmir has spent Rs 12
crore on the maintenance and operation of Omar Abdullah`s
aircraft since he became the Chief Minister in January 2009.
The details of the expenditure incurred on the usage of
state chopper service from 2009 up to June 2011 were provided
by the state Civil Aviation Department in response to an RTI
application filed by a man, living Below Poverty Line (BPL) in
central Kashmir`s Budgam district.
In 2009-2010, the total expenditure on the helicopter
sorties accumulated to Rs 4.63 crore, which included Rs 93.75
lakh spent on the fuel.
Interestingly, the state helicopter on August 14, 2009,
made seven sorties between Srinagar and Gulmarg, with the
Chief Minister and his guests on board.
The extravagance continued two days later when the state
helicopter made four sorties between Pahalgam and Srinagar to
fly Omar and his entourage to south Kashmir resort.
In 2010-2011, the amount spent on the state-owned
helicopter rose to nearly Rs 6 crore, which included more than
Rs 96 lakh spent on the fuel.
On June 15 2010, with Omar as one of the passengers, the
state helicopter made nine sorties between Leh, Lukum and
On August 2, 2010, the helicopter made 13 sorties
between Srinagar, Jammu, Budgam and Baramulla.
During 2011-12, upto June, the total expenditure amounts
to more than Rs 78 lakh which included more than Rs 19 lakh
spent on the fuel.
Most of the travels of the Chief Minister by helicopter
have been between Srinagar and Gulmarg and other tourist
The state Civil Aviation department has two helicopters
and one fixed-wing plane in its inventory.