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
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
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