Uttarakhand irked over sting operation; Pvt choppers probed

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Dehradun, July 2: Uttarakhand government-led by Chief Minister Vijay Bahuguna on Tuesday, July 2 began investigation on private chopper company which has been accused of asking for money from flood victims.

The move of the state government seems to be a step following Union Aviation Minister Ajit Singh's letter to the CM demanding for a probe into the shocking incident.

A sting operation exposed a Delhi-based private helicopter company -- Sarathi Airways which has been hired by Uttarakhand state government for rescue work in the flood-ravaged state.

IAF Chopper

According to the sting operation carried out by a TV channel, officials of the Sarathi Airways chopper had asked Rs 3 lakh for helping a stranded family in the hill state.

A state government official was quoted as saying, Despite charging the state government, the private helicopter company tried to make a fast buck from a stranded family."

"This goes against our agreement. We will lodge a case of cheating against the company," added the state government official.

According to DNA, Captain Gulab Singh Tanwar, the Chairman of the company, was believed to be close to BJP President Rajnath Singh. The company reportedly is preferred by BJP across the country.

Ajit Singh, in his letter to the CM, said, "I would request you to kindly take strict action against the company and also issue necessary instructions for monitoring of activities of other helicopter operators so that such corrupt practices may be contained."

According to a report published by DNA, private choppers are charging a hefty sum for ferrying stranded people to safer grounds. The report also said that private chopper charged a family from Maharashtra almost Rs 20 lakh to ferry their 30 members.

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