Patiala: The last three years of air travel expenses of Punjab Chief Minister, his son and Deputy Chief Minister has dealt a heavy blow to the state’s exchequer.

It is reported that Rs 33 crore has been spent on their air travel expenses which amounts to the cost of 3 helicopters.

According to Civil Aviation Department, the state government has already spent Rs 33, 04, 45,987 crore within three years on helicopter travel by the Chief Minister, Deputy Chief Minister, Governor Shivraj Patil and Punjab Director General of Police.

According to the directions given by the Director General of Civil Aviation department, the Chief Minister, former Chief Ministers and other VVIPs cannot fly in single engine helicopter. They can travel only in jet engine helicopters.

During the regime of last Bharatiya Janata Party-Shiromani Akali Dal coalition government in the state, the present policy of hiring helicopters from Pawan Hans was brought into effect. The hourly travel rent of Rs 33, 000 has increased five folds.

JPN/Bureau