Srinagar: Jammu and Kashmir which is going through an economic crisis is in news for denting public exchequer by Chief Minister Omar Abdullah and his team of Ministers.

The Jammu and Kashmir government's Civil Aviation Department (CAD) has revealed that Rs 12 crore were spent on the maintenance and operation of the helicopters and aircraft used by Abdullah and his team since he became the Chief Minister in January 2009.

CAD provided the details in response to an application filed under RTI.

The Chief Minister has not only used helicopters to visit remote areas, but the services have also been used to go from Nehru helipad to SKICC, which is barely at a distance of three to four kilometers.

RTI application was filed by Bashir Ahmad Malik, living Kashmir's Budgam district seeking information about total expenditure spend on the usage of helicopters by the Chief Minister and other VIPs. Bashir who was refused information by officials had then filed the petition with the State Chief Information Commissioner.

On this, CAD revealed that in 2009-2010, the total expenditure on the helicopter sorties accumulated over Rs 4 crores.

In 2010-2011, the amount spent on the state-owned helicopter which included more than Rs 97. 47 lakh spent from the public fund. During 2011-12, upto June, the total expenditure of Rs 78.08 lakh was spend on helicopter operation, CAD disclosed.

JPN/Bureau