Bhubaneswar: Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik’s helicopter sorties inside the state on official tours during a span of two years costs the state exchequer a little over Rs six crore.
The state government paid Rs 6,02,56,360 toward the cost of hiring helicopters for Patnaik on official tours in the state, according to Parliamentary Affairs minister Kalpataru Das.
The cost incurred by the state government for air journey by the chief minister outside the state and country was, however, only Rs 10.36 lakh, he said.
During the period, the chief minister went abroad only once, while he went on official tours outside the state 17 times, Das said.
Replying to a question on the travel expenditure by ministers in the Assembly yesterday, Das, however, said that 32 ministers, including nine former one, had gone on tours during the period and the highest expenditure of Rs 5,21,685 was incurred by Women and Child Development minister Usha Devi.
She had gone on one foreign tour and seven outside the state by air and twice travelled by helicopter in the state.
Former minister Sanjeev Sahoo had incurred the second highest expenditure toward air and helicopter travel costing the state exchequer Rs 4,07,722. Sahoo had undertaken 12 tours outside the state and one in the state.
Revenue minister Surya Narayan Patro incurred travel expenditure of Rs 3,72,599 on 12 tours outside the state and one in the state.
Patro was followed by Tourism minister Maheswar Mohanty, who incurred Rs 3,60,607 expenses on 10 tours outside the state and four inside the state, the ministers travel document said.
In his brief one-year stint as agriculture minister, BJD strong man Pradeep Maharathy only incurred Rs 20,456 on official tour and had toured outside the state just once.