Stranded and rescued? Time to cough up! At least if you are in Uttarakhand.
In a shocking move, the Uttarakhand government has announced that it will be charging passengers for availing helicopter rides during rescue operations.
The Uttarakhand Civil Aviation Development Authority (UCADA), on Saturday, issued a notification to this effect, saying helicopter rides will cost of Rs. 3,100 (including GST) per person. The price is for rescue operations in Pithoragarh for "normal passengers".
Having been approved by Chief Minister Trivendra Singh Rawat, the order goes into immediate effect. It would be first time in the world a state government charges people in need of help for rescue operations.
It is unclear why the government has chosen to tax the regular citizen, as for many the cost would rule out relief efforts.
Meanwhile, an RTI filed by activist Hemant Singh Goniyo has revealed that the BJP government in the state has spent an upward of Rs 6 crore flying the Chief Minister and other VIPs around the state.
Till date, Trivendra Singh Rawat has made 93 air trips, including 47 by the government issued airplane and 45 by the state-owned helicopter. The UCADA did not reveal the exact cost of the various trips by the CM as per the Hindustan Times.
During the BJP's tenure, the government has spent Rs 5.85 crore on various private service providers for arranging choppers for politicians including the Chief Minister, the Governor, cabinet ministers and other VIP guests to the state, as per the RTI.
@PMOIndia @narendramodi I am shocked and appalled by the acts of your CM of Uttarakhand. Please explain the rational behind this. Aren't you getting enough money from Indian and foreign agencies for disaster relief? Another corruption agenda?https://t.co/ApmGjuumlo— Arjun Padiyar (@Arjun_Padi) July 15, 2018