To cover 15 kms in Delhi, Patil uses a chopper

A chopper was used by Union Home Minister Shivraj Patil to cover a 15-kms distance from Safdurjung airport to Khanpur within the city ostensibly to avoid the crowded thoroughfares of the national capital.

Patil took the aerial route to attend the 47th Raising Day Parade of Indo-Tibetan Border Police (ITBP) function held at Tigri in Khanpur in South Delhi.

The helicopter -- Mi-17 of the BSF, which has been taken on loan from the Indian Air Force(IAF), took off from Safdurjung Airport in 9:00 am and landed in nearby Jamia ground.

Afterwards, Patil addressed the troops of ITBP in which he highlighted that one should not be scared of death in whichever form it comes.

"This is the essence of our philosophy and those who fear death live a life of death," he said in a philosophical tone. The helicopters have been kept for the use of the Home Ministry.

Patil flew in the Mi-17 for his return to Safdarjung airport at 10:30 am. According to IAF's rough estimate, average cost of flying Mi-17 per hour is Rs 2.66 lakh.

The practice of using helicopters for attending the raising day functions of forces under the Home Ministry was started by former Union Home Minister L K Advani but he flew on the chopper for travelling places in the outskirts of Delhi like Jharoda Kalan and Githorni and Manesar, near Gurgaon.

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