Maharashtra govt to repair Dauphin chopper, save Rs 100 crore

Maharashtra government today decided to repair its Dauphin helicopter at a cost of Rs 24 crore instead of buying a new chopper.

The decision was taken at a meeting of the cabinet, chaired by Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis, here.

The government will save Rs 100 crore it would have otherwise spent on acquiring a new helicopter, an official said after the meeting.

The Dauphin, at present grounded, was acquired in 2001 for Rs 23 crore. In 2010 the state government was looking for two new twin-engine helicopters to fly VIPs by replacing the Dauphin.

The Directorate of Aviation of the Maharashtra Government had in 2010 invited sealed quotation from manufacturers too.

One of the major requirement cited then was that the helicopters should be able to fly 300 nautical miles leg with reserve fuel from the Juhu helipad and the choppers should have a seating capacity of six people excluding the crew.

The state government now uses a Sikoesky S76C chopper, acquired in December 2011, to ferry VIPs.

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