The Newz Radar
The Himachal government is not getting helicopters at a lower rate even after issuing tenders for the third time.
In the Cabinet meeting held on June 6, instructions were given to the General Administration Department to issue fresh tenders for the helicopter. This process has been completed and tenders have been opened. Now the final decision on these has to be taken by the Cabinet.
Only three companies have submitted tenders. There are two companies for the small chopper, while only one company has introduced the tender for the big chopper, but no company has offered any relief in the rate.
Last time, the fare for the small helicopter was Rs 3.40 lakh per hour, which is Rs 3.30 lakh this time, but for the big helicopter it was Rs 5.40 lakh last time, but it has become Rs 5.50 lakh per hour this time.
Last time the government had done re-tendering so that the rate could be reduced even further, but it did not happen. While this process is ongoing the state government and the Chief Minister do not have any helicopter for the last two months.
The small helicopter, August Westland, that the state government was currently using was charging Rs 2.30 lakh per hour for its rent. In the new tender, this rate has come to Rs 3.40 lakh per hour. Himachal has also had big helicopters from companies like Pawan Hans or Masco during the previous state governments. Previously, when the state government used the big helicopter of Pawan Hans, its fare was Rs 4.80 lakh per hour. Now in the new tender, its cost was Rs 5.40 lakh per hour, which increased to Rs 5.50 lakh in the third tender. According to the terms of the tender, it is necessary to use the helicopter for 40 hours a month otherwise, the state government has to pay this even without using it.