Odisha government seeks clarification on Governor’s chopper ride

Bhubaneswar: It seems that all is not well between the Odisha government and the newly appointed Governor Ganeshi Lal. The strained relationship came to fore in a letter of the General Administration department to the special secretary to the Governor regarding aircraft and chopper expenses amounting to nearly Rs 46 lakh.

In the letter, Deputy Secretary to Odisha government, Indira Behera has sought a clarification on the purpose of Odisha Governor’s visit and use of chopper and Jet during his visit to New Delhi and Haryana between June 10 and June 14.

“It may be kindly intimated the reason and circumstances for hiring of a helicopter for use of 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 (sic),” the letter read.

As per the official communiqué issued by the Odisha government, it has been mentioned that a twin engine jet aircraft was used by the Governor to visit New Delhi from Bhubaneswar on June 10 and back to Bhubaneswar on June 13.

As per the invoices of M/s Pinnacle Air Pvt Limited mentioned in the letter, the cost of hiring the aircraft has been estimated at Rs 41, 18,000.

Similarly, an amount of Rs 5,00,000 has been incurred for the Governor’s visit to Sirsa in Haryana from New Delhi in a chopper on June 10.

As per the letter, the special secretary to the Governor has been asked to sign the necessary user’s certificate for further action on part of the State government.