LAHORE: The Punjab government has spent Rs8.6 million in 16 months –from Aug 2018 till Nov 2019– on the helicopter flights of Chief Minister Sardar Usman Buzdar, including 14 flights to his hometown and constituency.
According to details released by the Punjab Information Commission, Buzdar made his first visit to Mian Channu and Pakpattan from Lahore on August 28, 2018, on his official helicopter soon after assuming the office.
In Sept 2018, the helicopter was used twice for local flying in Lahore. Interestingly, the helicopter was used five times in October out of which Prime Minister Imran Khan used it thrice to visit Punjab Governor’s House during his visits to the provincial capital.
In Nov 2018, the official helicopter was used 14 times — thrice to Dera Ghazi Khan, which is also the constituency of the Punjab CM. The official chopper was used to visit Taunsa Sharif, the hometown of the chief minister, during the same month.
In Feb 2019, Buzdar paid a visit to Multan, Rajanpur and DG Khan while in the same month he also went to Taunsa by helicopter.
In April 2019, the Punjab chief minister made 28 trips on his official helicopter of which five were made to Taunsa. In May 2019, he made 27 visits, eight in July, 13 in August, 10 in September, 14 in October, and 11 in November of which two trips were made to DG Khan.
The chief minister’s helicopter was also used several times to go to the Governor’s House in Lahore from the CM’s Secretariat, which is located hardly one kilometre away. He also made several visits to Pakpattan on board his official helicopter during this period.
The Punjab government helicopter made a total of 164 flights and remained air borne for 119 hours and 30 minutes during this period.