‘Udan scheme did not work on 93% routes’: Kharge slams Centre, cites CAG repot | Latest News India - Hindustan Times
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‘Udan scheme did not work on 93% routes’: Kharge slams Centre, cites CAG repot

Aug 19, 2023 03:38 PM IST

Mallikarjun Kharge’s dig referred to Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s earlier comments on the low-cost airfares of the Shimla-Delhi flight when he had said that it is his dream to see a person wearing slippers fly in an airplane

The Congress on Saturday hit out at the Centre over the alleged discrepancies in the Udan scheme, saying that the Union government’s scheme did not worked on 93% routes.

Congress president Mallikarjun Kharge (File Photo)
Congress president Mallikarjun Kharge (File Photo)

Citing the Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) audit reports, Congress President Mallikarjun Kharge wrote on X (formerly known as Twitter): “Modi government’s promise to travel by air wearing slippers has turned into air like all their promises! We are not saying this, CAG report is saying this!”

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He added that the scheme did not work on 93% of routes.

Kharge’s dig referred to Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s earlier comments on the low-cost airfares of the Shimla-Delhi flight when he had said that it is his dream to see a person wearing slippers fly in an airplane.

“Hawai Chappal-wearing common citizens should be able to travel in Hawai Jahaj. I am seeing it happening,” PM Modi had said as he highlighted that India’s aviation market is growing rapidly.

Raising questions on the lack of transparency in the scheme, Kharge said, “There was no independent audit of the airlines either. The much-publicised Helicopter services also remained stalled. Didn’t get ‘Udaan’, just lies and jumlas!”

Kharge added that the country would not forgive such an incompetent government after this.

UDAN is a regional connectivity scheme launched in 2016 to develop affordability regional air connectivity and refurbish underserved airports.

According to a CAG report presented in Parliament during the recently concluded Monsoon Session, of 371 commenced routes, only 30% (112 routes) completed the full concession period of three years.

“Further, out of these 112 routes, only 54 routes connecting 17 RCS [Regional Connectivity Scheme] airports could sustain the operations beyond the concession period of three years, as of March 2023,” said the report.

The report also highlighted “significant delays” in the development or refurbishment of identified RCS airports out of the budgetary support sanctioned by the Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs in March 2017.

“Out of the 116 airports/ heliports/water aerodromes where expenditure was incurred, operations commenced at only 71 (61%) airports/heliports/water aerodromes,” the CAG report added.

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