Govt-hired helicopter to turn as air ambulance in first mission; carries heart from Tvm to Kochi
Thiruvananthapuram: The helicopter hired by the government will turn as an air ambulance on Saturday. It is being used to carry heart for a patient in Kochi from Thiruvananthapuram. This is the first mission of the helicopter taken on rent by the state.
A team of experts under Dr Jose Chacko of Kochi Lisi hospital has set out to Thiruvananthapuram to bring back the heart of a brain dead 50-year-old female patient from KIMS hospital. The air ambulance will start from Kochi at 2 pm. A surgery to remove heart will begin soon in KIMS.
A huge controversy had erupted in March after government allotted Rs 1.5 crore from treasury to the police department to rent helicopter. While resorting to cutting expenses to procure funds for coronavirus prevention activities, Rs 1.5 crore was handed over to Pawan Hans company for the helicopter rent. This was followed by criticisms for extravagance.
However, government was of the stance that this was a normal measure and an order in this regard was issued by finance department in February.
CM had responded that renting a helicopter would be better than buying one and it was essential for certain services.
The government had signed an agreement with Pawan Hans Ltd hiring a twin-engine 11-seater helicopter at a monthly rent of Rs 1.44 crore for 20 hours flying and around Rs 67,900 for every additional hour.