New Delhi: Having decided to use choppers for
non-combat operations in Naxal-affected areas, the Home
Ministry has invited expressions of interest from MI-17
operators for "wet lease" of their helicopters for an initial
period of one year, extendable up to three years.
"The helicopters would be used in the Left wing extremism
affected areas of the country i.e. states of Andhra Pradesh,
Bihar, Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand, Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh
and West Bengal, for the purpose of evacuating casualties,
search and rescue operations, movement of troops and
surveillance," the ministry said.
The decision to use helicopters in non-combat operations
in Naxal-affected areas was taken by government nearly a year
ago and currently choppers from BSF and Air Force are being
used for such operations.
The EoI shall be followed by a tender process for
selection of the chartered company for wet lease, which
provides for a chopper, complete crew, maintenance, and
insurance. However, response to this EoI, last date for which
is October 20, 2010, does not entitle the responder to receive
any documents or to be invited to bid for the services
subsequently, it said.
Making clear that the responders may be subject to
national security clearance, Joint Secretary in MHA for Naxal
management Kashmir Singh said eligibility to participate in
the bidding process may depend on grant of such clearance.
Under the scope of services, the ministry has said the
helicopters should be either MI-17 series or of equivalent
capability and the number of helicopters required is 13 with
the option of hiring at least six.
It also said the choppers should be capable of day and
night flying and should have a minimum airlift capability of
18-20 fully equipped and armed security personnel and fly to
air destination at least for 400 kms away (or 200 kms one way
and return) without refuelling.
The scope of services also talked about helicopters to
have slithering facilities and preferably being armour-plated
for the safety of crew, passengers and vital components of
It said the operating crew would be provided by the
charter company and must comply with DGCA prescribed
qualifications. The operational control will be exercised by
the MHA, it said.
The eligibility criteria required the company to be in
the business of providing chartered services for the past
three years and said the annual turnover of the company should
be at least Rs 100 crore in the past four years solely from