Uttarakhand Shame: Chopper asks Rs 3 lakh to rescue victims

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Dehradun, June 28: 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.

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."

Chopper during rescue work

"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.

Meanwhile, civil aviation minister Ajit Singh sent a letter to Uttarakhand CM Vijay Bahuguna saying, "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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