Chief Minister Hemant Soren, has greenlit the purchase of a chartered plane worth Rs 90 crore. The decision, ratified during a cabinet meeting, aims to streamline the travel arrangements for the Chief Minister and other dignitaries.
Cabinet’s Decision and Aircraft Details
The cabinet, chaired by Chief Minister Hemant Soren, approved the civil aviation department’s proposal to acquire a nine-seater King Air 350i aircraft from Textron Aviation Inc, USA. This move, signaling a shift in transportation strategy, aims to provide dedicated air travel for key government officials.
New Post Creation and Infrastructure Allocation
To ensure the seamless operation and maintenance of the aircraft, the cabinet sanctioned the creation of a new post of director within the civil aviation department. This director, holding a rank of joint secretary or above, will oversee the aircraft’s functionality. Additionally, Rs 20 crore has been earmarked for the construction of a hangar and related infrastructure at Birsa Munda Airport in Ranchi, serving as the designated parking spot for the new aircraft.
Justification and Criticism
The government justifies this substantial investment by emphasizing the need for a dedicated aircraft for the Chief Minister and other VIPs. Relying on commercial flights or hiring chartered planes from other states was deemed costly and time-consuming. The government further asserts that the aircraft will not only cater to routine travel but will also serve essential functions like air ambulance services, disaster management, and aerial surveys.
Despite the government’s rationale, opposition parties have strongly criticized this decision, labeling it as wasteful expenditure. At a time when the state grapples with a financial crisis exacerbated by the Covid-19 pandemic, the opposition argues that the government should prioritize spending on crucial sectors like health, education, and welfare schemes for the poor and farmers.
Stay tuned for updates on the unfolding controversy surrounding the Jharkhand government’s Rs 90 crore investment in a chartered plane, a decision that has sparked debates on financial priorities amidst challenging times.