After several frivolous Budget allocations, the centre has done another one. This time of Rs 8,458 crore, which has been reserved for an Aircraft purchase – two special Boeing 777-300ER wide-body aircrafts. They are seeming to be reserved for the President and Prime Minister of India. They are manufactured by Boeing’s Fort Dallas HQ in Florida USA.
Our country currently has no dedicated fleet of VVIP airplanes. For the last two and half decades, Air India maintained a fleet of Boeing 747 aircraft that were designated on requirement as AI-1 or AIC001 – the callsigns for aircraft with the Prime Minister or President onboard. Air India purchased five of these aircraft back in the 1990s, out of which one was grounded and unable to fly, three were sold in the ongoing Air India sale, and 1 was retained by co concern Alliance Airlines until the new planes are ready for operation.
Boeing 777 which is used by several airlines as a passenger plane and by the USA as a carrier of their President for Diplomatic visits will come to India soon to fly the VVIPs. It comes with several modifications to it. Like VIP enclosures, a press conference room, onboard Wi-Fi – even a patient transport unit for medical emergencies, among other Safety modifications.
Obviously, purchasing and furnishing these two airplanes isn’t modest. The Indian Government marked an arrangement with Boeing in 2006 for 68 planes – two of which are the 777-300ER airplane. The present rundown cost for these planes adds up to over Rs 2,600 crores, with the safeguard frameworks alone meaning an extra Rs 1,350 crores each. Add to this Interior Overhaul expenses of Rs 940 crores and extra Engine expenses of Rs 782 crores, and we’re looking at atleast 4200 crores for each plane.
For our nation battling with such huge numbers of a different issues affecting the common man, such lavishness is outlandish. For periodic travels abroad the VVIPs can utilize military airplanes with all security features.
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