Raje Govt Wants Plane More Pow­er­ful than PM’s

Ra­jasthan ten­der asks for air­craft that can fly to Europe; ear­lier state ten­der for Agusta chop­pers was with­drawn

The Economic Times - - Front Page -

Anub­huti Vish­noi & Manu Pubby

New Delhi: An air­craft that can fly the chief min­is­ter to Europe, and has a big­ger fly­ing range than ex­ec­u­tive jets used by the prime min­is­ter for do­mes­tic travel – that’s what the Ra­jasthan gov­ern­ment wants.

The ten­der with this spec­i­fi­ca­tion will likely cre­ate an­other avi­a­tion­re­lated con­tro­versy. The first one was the Va­sund­hara Raje ad­min­is­tra­tion’s pref­er­ence for scan­dal-mired Agus­taWest­land’s chop­pers. The Agusta ten­der was with­drawn. ET had re­ported on De­cem­ber 14 (‘Raje Govt Flies into an Agusta Con­tro­versy’) that the ten­der bent gov­ern­ment pro­cure­ment rules on com­pet­i­tive se­lec­tion.

ET has learnt that the Raje gov­ern­ment had floated a ten­der late last year for leas­ing an ex­ec­u­tive jet. Spec­i­fi­ca­tions re­quired by the state ad­min­is­tra­tion make this jet more pow­er­ful than any­thing avail­able with the union gov­ern­ment and used for do­mes­tic travel. The PM uses In­dian Air Force-main­tained Embraer jets.

The Ra­jasthan gov­ern­ment’s Direc­torate of Civil Avi­a­tion is­sued a ten­der on 28 Novem­ber, 2016 for hir­ing a mid-size air­craft on long-term ba­sis. Tech- nical spec­i­fi­ca­tions stip­u­late a fly­ing range and cruis­ing al­ti­tude far above norms for chief min­is­te­rial air­craft, peo­ple fa­mil­iar with the gov­ern­ment ten­der said. They spoke to ET on the con­di­tion they not be iden­ti­fied.

State gov­ern­ment po­lit­i­cal VIPs typ­i­cally don’t use air­craft with high-per­for­mance pa­ram­e­ters such as those sought by the Ra­jasthan gov­ern­ment. For ex­am­ple, the PM’s Embraer jet doesn’t have the 3,200 nau­ti­cal mile range that the Raje gov­ern­ment wants for its ex­ec­u­tive jet. Even the dis­tance be­tween Jaipur and Thiru­vanan­tha­pu­ram is 2,300 nau­ti­cal miles, con­sid­er­ably less than the range spec­i­fied by the ten­der.

ARINDAM

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from India

© PressReader. All rights reserved.