Hyderabad: Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister N. Chandrababu Naidu will soon get a private jet and a helicopter to tour various parts of the state.
The government will spend over Rs 150 crore to buy the helicopter and the plane. Currently, Mr Naidu is using the helicopters of private parties. Incidentally, even the Telangana state government recently decided to purchase a helicopter for TS Chief Minister K. Chandrasekhar Rao.
Meanwhile, sources said that Mr Naidu would use the airplane mainly for international tours. Officials have been asked to prepare estimates for the purchase of the helicopter and the jet. However, Mr Naidu is yet to decide on the size of the plane and its capacity. Officials will submit the estimates of various sizes of aircraft to him shortly.
Almost every state in the country has its own helicopter for Chief Ministers to tour the districts. Undivided Andhra Pradesh too had an Augusta Westland (AW-139) helicopter, which was destroyed in a fire accident at Begumpet in December 2012 along with five other trainer aircraft.
The 15-seater helicopter had been bought by the state government in 2008 from Augusta Westland, Italy, for Rs 68 crore.
“The chopper was insured. Nearly two years after the incident, the National Insurance Company released the insurance amount of Rs 68 crore. This money will be divided between Andhra Pradesh and Telangana state since the state has been bifurcated. The insurance money would be distributed in 58:42 ratio between AP and Telangana,” sources said.
They also added that though most private helicopters have been booked by political parties for elections in Maharashtra and Haryana, there are helicopters available for Mr Naidu for his district tours in connection with the Janmabhoomi programme up to October 22.