Both the Chief Secretary and Minister for Tourism, Goa has on the tourism expose issue stated categorically that they have travelled by economy class and within the government stipulated norms. GoaChronicle.com exposes these lies…
In a telephonic interview with GoaChronicle.com Chief Secretary, Government of Goa clearly stated that, “That all the officials travelled economy class while returning as they were in the same flight. As for the journey to States, while pointing out that he joined the Goa group later on, he said the onward journey too must have been as per the rules.”
But that is surprising since our sources at the Akbar Travels, here in Panjim and a counter-check with its office in Mumbai shared with us the following details of Chief Secretary, Sanjay Srivastava air travel plans. The ticket was booked under the name – Srivastava/Sanjay Kumar
Mumbai – Dubai Details
EMIRATES – EK 501 – MON 21FEB MUMBAI IN DUBAI AE 0420 0600 – CHHATRAPATI SHIVAJI DUBAI INTL
NON STOP TERMINAL 2 TERMINAL 3 DURATION 3:10 -NON SMOKING -RESERVATION CONFIRMED- O BUSINESS
ON BOARD: MEAL – EQUIPMENT:BOEING 777-300ER
Dubai – Los Angeles Details
EMIRATES – EK 215 -MON 21FEB DUBAI AE LOS ANGELES CA 0820 1250 -DUBAI INTL INTL
NON STOP TERMINAL 3 TERMINAL B DURATION 16:30 -NON SMOKING – RESERVATION CONFIRMED- O BUSINESS -ON BOARD: MEAL -EQUIPMENT:BOEING 777-200LR
San Francisco – Dubai Details
EMIRATES – EK 226 – WED 02MAR SAN FRANCISCO CA DUBAI AE 1545 1925 -INTL DUBAI INTL 03MAR
NON STOP TERMINAL INTL TERMINAL 3 DURATION 15:40 – NON SMOKING – RESERVATION CONFIRMED- O BUSINESS – ON BOARD: MEAL – EQUIPMENT:BOEING 777-300ER
Dubai – Mumbai Details
EMIRATES – EK 500 -THU 03MAR DUBAI AE MUMBAI IN 2230 0250 DUBAI INTL CHHATRAPATI SHIVAJI 04MAR -NON STOP TERMINAL 3 TERMINAL 2 DURATION 2:50 NON SMOKING -RESERVATION CONFIRMED- O BUSINESS -ON BOARD: MEAL – EQUIPMENT:BOEING 777-300ER
The Electornic Ticket (E-Ticket) number is RESERVATION NUMBER(S) EK/ETF6Z6 –
SRIVASTAVA/SANJAY KUMAR MR TICKET:EK/ETKT 176 1766013589-90
In a telephonic interview from his residence this morning, Minister for Tourism, Nilkanth Halankar stated, that he said that he travelled economy class to USA and back and that he stayed in hotels as permitted by the rules.
GoaChronicle.com has managed to get details about his return back travel details, and it was certainly not economy class. Ticket was booked under the name Halarnkar/Nilkanth and booked at Akbar Travels in Panjim.
San Francisco – Dubai Details
EMIRATES, EK 226 MONDAY, 28TH FEB, SAN FRANCISCO TO DUBAI, 15.45 DEPARTURE – RESERVATION CONFIRMED –O BUSINESS
Dubai – Mumbai Details
EMIRATES, EK 500 2ND MARCH, DUBAI TO MUMBAI, 22.30 DEPARTURE – RESERVATION CONFIRMED – O BUSINESS
Speaking to our sources in different travel agencies in Goa and Mumbai, on an average a business class ticket would not cost less than Rs 2,35,000 for return fare.
So while the Chief Secretary and Minister for Tourism continue to deny the air travel plans saying they travelled economy class; the tickets picked up from Akbar Travels say another story. In fact our sources at Akbar Travels in Panjim tell us that there was a booking done on behalf of the Department of Tourism for its officials and there were bookings also done for non department tourism officials as well.
Even the visa applications process which was held at US Consulate in Mumbai had the members of the same entourage namely Vijai Sardesai, Akbar Mulla, Rajesh Kale, Swapnil Naik, Nilkanth Halankar and Sanjay Srivastava, as revealed by our sources in the US Embassy; in fact even the non-government officials posed part of the Goa tourism contigent going to the US; making it easy for processing of visa applications. Suraj Lotilar already had a US visa stamped on his passport, hence he was not present on February 10, 2011 at the US Consulate.
Some members who claim to have travelled on their own expenses for the trip such as Vijai Sardesai as commented on a post on the GoaChronicle.com expose article stated, “My travel to the US has been at my own cost and I can produce receipts of payments of all bills of travel and accommodation”. Is it a coincidence that Vijai Sardesai and the tourism officials happened to be at the US Consulate at the same time and get clearance as part of the government officials travelling to United States of America; in fact he was even asked if he was part of the government delegates, to which he replied in the affirmative.
Denial on Rajesh Kale
On the Rajesh Kale front both Chief Secretary and Tourism Minister feign knowledge about his not taking prerequiste government approvals for his travel, which they believed were on his own expenses.
Sanjay Srivastava, Chief Secretary, Goverment of Goa, said that there was one staff of Goa Tourism as part of the entourage, but claimed not to remember his name. However, he said he presumed that the staff was officially part of the entourage.
As for Rajesh Kale, Minister for Tourism, Nilkanth Halankar presumed he was part of the official entourage given the fact that normally one or two staff members of Tourism Department besides the Director are present for any tour.
And here is what is surprising about this denial and shocking since if such senior government officials are not aware of basic government protocol then it either means that they are incompetent or playing the fool. Since normally, when any trip is sanctioned whether in India or International or a government employee is a part of a government delegation, the file or request passes through all the heads of department – in this case it would be Director Department of Tourism, Secretary of Tourism and finally Minister for Tourism.
More importantly this denial is strange and if there was no breach in protocol what would be the need to go in for a Ex-Post Facto approval and for which Tourism Minister, Nilkanth Halankar signed for it himself.
GoaChronicle.com team is working hard to procure much more information on this racket and will disclose more startling facts in the days to come. But since the government has gotten aware of this fact, there is a concentrated efforts to cover the tracks.