CAG raps BSF for incurring ‘avoidable expenditure’
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Last Updated: Tuesday, September 06, 2011, 20:16
  
New Delhi: The CAG has rapped the BSF for incurring an "avoidable expenditure" of more than Rs nine crore by flying helicopters from Delhi to the North-East and Jammu and Kashmir to aid its troops deployed in operations.

The Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) in its latest report tabled in Parliament said six MI-17 helicopters purchased by the Home Ministry at a cost of Rs 125.29 crore incurred this expenditure as "necessary infrastructure in the form of hangars for parking the helicopters at designated places in these states had not been created even after seven years of the sanction of Rs seven crore for the purpose."

The helicopters, according to the report, were instead parked at the Safdarjung airport in the heart of national capital and flew sorties from here.

"The contention of the Ministry (of Home) that there was no additional financial implication on account of delay in construction of hangars is not convincing. The BSF (air wing) in response to a specific audit query had replied that the licence fee and conservancy charges pertained to six helicopters stationed at Safdarjung airport.

"The helicopters would have been shifted to the designated bases had timely construction of hangars been ensured."

The purchase of six helicopters for BSF without ensuring necessary infrastructure to position them on desired locations, pilots to fly them and staff to handle its operations resulted in idling and sub-optimal use of these helicopters acquired seven years ago at a cost of Rs 125.29 crore in 2003, besides avoidable expenditure of Rs 9.18 and continued dependence of BSF on IAF for its operations, the CAG report said.

The report titled 'procurement without planning' said BSF choppers made 39 sorties from Delhi to these areas and clocked 542 flying hours in the process.

These helicopters were procured for tasks like carrying troops for counter-insurgency operations, checking infiltration and gathering intelligence in the North East and Jammu and Kashmir.

The report said the BSF had to station the choppers in Delhi, instead of parking them at their designated locations of Srinagar, Jammu, Bhuj, Assam and Tripura as the BSF could not find suitable land for the purpose in these areas.

"...non-availability of appropriate land, identification of alternate land and proposals for acquiring land being under consideration" were cited as reasons by the BSF to CAG auditors.

The CAG also pulled up the border guarding force, which guards frontiers with Pakistan and Bangladesh and also undertakes anti-naxal and counter-insurgency operations, for depending on the IAF for its operational requirements.

"During 2004-05 to 2009-10, the helicopters had been utilised for 5,787 flying hours against the projected utilisation of 1,8,900 flying hours. BSF had also spent Rs 20.15 crore for hiring helicopters from the Indian Air Force for airlifting and ration dropping to BSF in Jammu and Kashmir and North east area, which could have been minimised through optimal utilisation of its own fleet of helicopters," the CAG said.

PTI


First Published: Tuesday, September 06, 2011, 20:16


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