Gujarat govt spends Rs 20.8 crore in last 2 years on aircraft bought for Rs 198 crore

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Bombardier Challenger 650. [Photo: Bombardier Business Aircraft]

Gandhinagar: The Gujarat government spent Rs 20.8 crore in two years on a new aircraft purchased for Rs 198 crore in November 2019, it told the state Legislative Assembly here on Friday, PTI reported.

The aircraft had made 183 trips as of January 31, 2023, it said.

The state government spent a total of Rs 36 crore on operation and maintenance of the two aeroplanes and a helicopter owned by it in two years till December 31, 2022, it informed.

The government paid two private agencies Rs 20.80 crore for the operation and maintenance of the twin-engine Bombardier Challenger 650, procured in November 2019 for Rs 197.90 crore, in two years till December 31, 2022.

The information was provided by civil aviation minister Balvantsinh Rajput in reply to starred questions asked by Congress MLAs Imran Khedawala and Arjun Modhwadia, the news agency report said.

The two aeroplanes and a helicopter owned by the state made a total of 486 trips in two years till January 31, 2023, he said.

The government spent Rs 8.04 crore for operation and maintenance of the older aeroplane and Rs 7 crore on the chopper in two years.

The swanky Bombardier Challenger 650 was purchased for use by the chief minister and other dignitaries.

It is capable of carrying 12 passengers and has a flying range of around 7,000 kilometres, much higher than the old Beechcraft Super King aircraft that had been used for 20 years, civil aviation department officials had said.

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