Misuse of govt vehicles dents state exchequer

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Transport minister says govt will take action

SRINAGAR: As entitlement of government vehicles is limited to the ministers and the administrative secretaries, State Motor Garages department has allotted several luxury vehicles to its own officials, putting burden on the exchequer.

Sources said there is wanton misuse of Government vehicles in the department and the excessive fuel consumption dents the exchequer. “The unabated and unauthorized use of vehicles which can be gauged from the fact that the Deputy Director Kashmir is using official Scorpio while as Works Manager Regional SMG Kashmir is using Dezire vehicle despite not being entitled for such services,” they said.

Sources said Director SMG is authorized to use only one government vehicle for the official use between 10 am and 4 pm. “But the Director is using two official vehicles and has kept official vehicle at home permanently for the family while uses SX4 for himself along with a driver,” they claimed.

Sources said that the department has also unauthorisedly allotted vehicles to the former ministers and MLAs for their personal use. “Deputy Director SMG Kashmir has unauthorizedly sanctioned the government vehicles to them. Former Transport Minister Chowdary Mohammad Ramzan was allotted Scorpio along with driver for his visit to Kupwara last month,” they said.

Dozens of such vehicles allotted by the SMG can be seen waiting for hours in front of schools, hospitals, shopping malls, parks, and other unwanted places.

An official of the department said though the entitlement of vehicles is limited to the ministers and the administrative secretaries only those vehicles are entitled to fuel which are essentially allotted by the Garages. “But there are scores of vehicles allotted by the department to the officials which are being misused. Fuel to each vehicle is provided by the SMG on a baseless entry in the logbook of the vehicle,” he alleged.

“The department gives false entry in the log book. The vehicles actually attached with officials in the Civil Secretariat draw fuel on false tours shown against each vehicle,” the official said.

When contacted Minister for Transport Abdul Gani Kohli admitted that he has received reports that the department is misusing the government vehicles. “It is true that the vehicles are being misused by the officials of the SMG. The government will take action in this regard. No one will be allowed to use the government vehicles without the proper order by the government,” he told KNS.

However, despite repeated attempts the Director State Motor Garages G A Sofi was not available for comment. (KNS)

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