Home BIG STORY Odisha Guv’s air travel bill row: Chief Secy expresses regret over explanation

Odisha Guv’s air travel bill row: Chief Secy expresses regret over explanation

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Bhubaneswar: A day after the Odisha government sought clarification from Raj Bhawan towards Governor’s air travel expenses which ran over Rs 46 lakh, state Chief Secretary today expressed ‘deep regret’ over the development which has stirred up a hornet’s nest in political circles.

Chief Secretary Aditya Prasad Padhi today met Governor Ganeshi Lal at Raj Bhawan and apprised the latter that his visit from Bhubaneswar to Sirsa via New Delhi by a chartered flight last month was approved by the state government.

Padhi expressed deep regrets at the manner in which the letter was issued to the Governor’s office regarding use of aircraft and said that stringent action would be taken against all responsible for this miscommunication, PRO to Chief Secretary Umakanta Mohapatra said in a release.

“It may kindly be intimated the reason and circumstances for hiring a helicopter for use of Hon’ble Governor and deviation in the approved schedule of the flight and whether approval of the competent authority has been taken for the purpose of not,” Indira Behera, Deputy Secretary in the General Administration Department had written to the Governor’s Special Secretary yesterday.

Besides, Behera also asked for the user certificate for the bill amounting to Rs 41.18 lakh for the aircraft and Rs 5 lakh for helicopter ride.

It may be mentioned here that Governor had visited his hometown Sirsa on June 10 where he left Bhubaneswar on a private special twin-engine jet aircraft Legacy 650 (VT-AOK). As the Sirsa airport was not ready for landing of jet aircraft, a chopper was hired to carry Governor from New Delhi to his hometown.