Haryana government is on course to create a new record in clocking the most distance covered by official vehicles in a month.
A new RTI reply has exposed the Manohar Lal Khattar’s claims of austerity after it emerged that the cars used by his ministers were covering a distance of more than 27,000 kms every month costing taxpayers Rs 1.82 lakh on just fuel.
In other words each minister in Khattar’s cabinet was spending time on covering a distance equivalent to more than three trips from Chandigarh to Delhi NCR everyday.
What the RTI reply said
The RTI activist Jagjit Singh Walia, who filed the original request suspected ministers were misusing official cars for something else at the cost of public money.
He told ANI, ” The vehicles used by some of these ministers run over 15, 000 kilometers in a month. And Ram Vilas Sharma’s vehicle has run more than 25, 000 kilometers in a month. The ministers are given two cars; they cannot use both the cars at the same time.”
He added, ” If the cars run that much, then it amounts to almost 900 kms per day. The conditions of the roads in Haryana are so bad that it looks very improbable that cars can run 900 kms in a day.”
Walia had filed an RTI asking for details of cars owned by Haryana ministers , their average, whether they run using petrol or diesel and also details of number of kilometres these vehicles have run in the last one year.
He demanded a probe in the matter urging the state government to make ministers’ travel details public.
Haryana’s mobile ministers
Education Minister Ram Bilas Sharma- He has two government cars (Toyota Fortune and Maputo SX4) covered a distance of 28,000 km in July 2015 costing the government Rs 1.82 lakh on fuel.
In the following three months, his cars travelled 25,360 kms, 22,028 kms, 25,454 kms respectively.
The fuel bill for August, September and October 2015 were Rs 4.40 lakh.
Agriculture Minister Om Prakash Dhankar- His cars have run 24,360 kms in the month of October followed by 18,640 km, 23,596 kms and 18,756 km, 23,596 kms and 18,40 kms in July, August and September respectivel
State minister Krishan Kumar- His car covers a distance of 18,524 kms every month.
Public Health Engineering Minister Ghanshyam Saraf- His average car usage every month stands at 17,782 kms.
Minister of State for Food and Supplies Karandev Kamboj- His cars have been clocking 16,926 kms every month.
Sign of corruption?
From whichever way you look at, it simply doesn’t add up. According to the fastest route to cover a distance of 281 kms between Chandigarh and Gurgaon on Google map, one is expected to spend 4 hours and 11 mins on the road. Given that on an average some ministers’ cars travel 900 kms everyday, they were expected to have spent more than 12 hours travelling on the road.
Haryana assembly also had its monsoon session in September, sameven month these ministers’ cars were believed to be clocking thousands of miles. And not to forget the frequent cabinet meetings and ministers daily commitments in their offices everyday.
So, Walia has a point when he asks for a detailed probe in what appears to be a source of huge corruption in Haryana government.