Odisha govt raises question over Governor’s chopper ride bills

Bhubaneswar: The Odisha government has sought clarification from Raj Bhavan seeking details on expenses of Rs 46.18 lakh aircraft and chopper bills incurred during Governor Prof Ganeshi Lal’s visit from Bhubaneswar to New Delhi and New Delhi to Haryana between June 10 and 13.

On May 29, Prof Lal was sworn in as the new Governor of Odisha at the Raj Bhavan here.

In a letter to the Special Secretary to the Governor on July 4, General Administration Deputy Secretary Indira Behera has sought clarifications from the latter and asked him to intimate the department the reason and circumstances for hiring a helicopter for use of Governor.

“It may be kindly intimated the reason and circumstances for the hiring of a helicopter for use of Hon’ble Governor and deviation in the approved schedule of the flight and whether approval of the competent authority has been taken for the purpose or not,” the letter read.

The Government also sought user’s certificate from the Governor’s Special Secretary.

Notably, a twin-engine Het Aircraft Legacy 650 (VT-AOK) was hired for the Governor to fly from Bhubaneswar to New Delhi on June 10 and back from New Delhi to Bhubaneswar on June 13. A total of Rs 41,18,000 was incurred for the purpose.

On June 10, a chopper was also hired for the Governor from New Delhi to Sisra (the village of the Governor) in Haryana and Rs 5 lakh was spent for the purpose.

Indira Behera also requested the special secretary to Governor to sign the necessary user’s certificate and return the same for further necessary action on part of the state government.