Only 1 out of 6 BSF choppers based in Delhi is functional: Government

Wednesday, 5 August,New Delhi: Government on Wednesday said only one out of the six Mi-17 IV helicopters of the BSF based in the national capital is functional and the rest have been grounded for want of major overhaul.

“Six MI-17 IV helicopters have been stationed in Delhi for enhancing the mobility and improving operational efficiency of Central Armed Police Forces (CAPFs). The stationing of helicopters was considered necessary in Delhi in view of the infrastructure support, serviceability and maintenance of the helicopters.

“The helicopters have now completed their Total Technical Life (TTL) and presently only one MI-17 IV is functional and the rest are awaiting major overhaul,” Minister of State for Home Kiren Rijiju said in a written reply in Rajya Sabha.

He was asked whether it was a fact that for the past 12 years, six MI-17 IV choppers of the Border Security Force have been stationed in Delhi resulting in drastically reducing the number of flying hours left for the task.

Rijiju added in his reply that the government, meanwhile, has approved the purchase of eight new MI-17 V5 helicopters. “Two new MI-17 V5 helicopters have been received and six more are expected to be delivered in the current financial year,” he said.

The minister added they have taken steps to train the existing manpower to maintain the helicopters fleet. “Further, additional technicians are being recruited. In addition, an MoU has been signed between BSF and Indian Air Force for training of pilots, engineers and technicians and other necessary operational and maintenance support,” Rijiju said.