Haryana govt goes shopping for SUVs, high-end sedans | chandigarh | Hindustan Times
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Haryana govt goes shopping for SUVs, high-end sedans

Haryana went shopping again on Wednesday for buying high-end luxury sedans and auto transmission sports utility vehicles (SUVs) despite making lofty claims of economising expenditure.

chandigarh Updated: Apr 20, 2012 16:49 IST
Hitender Rao

Haryana went shopping again on Wednesday for buying high-end luxury sedans and auto transmission sports utility vehicles (SUVs) despite making lofty claims of economising expenditure.

The state government placed orders for the purchase of five Toyota Corolla Altis sedans for the use of chief secretary-grade IAS officers, four Ford Endeavour 4X4 automatic SUVs to be used in the cavalcade of chief minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda, two Hyundai Sonata petrol cars for the use of chief parliamentary secretaries (CPS) and one Maruti DZire ZDi for the use of secretary to the governor.

Apart from this, an order for purchasing 60 Chevrolet Tavera vehicles for the police department was also placed. The purchase orders, which were placed at a meeting of the high-powered purchase committee on Wednesday, were, however, phrased as 'replacements' for old vehicles. The state government is likely to spend Rs 5 crore on the purchase of the vehicles.

The state finance department, while reiterating its earlier instructions on economy measures, had, on June 3, 2011, said that the "matter regarding effecting economy in expenditure was reviewed by the finance department".

After careful consideration, the government has decided to continue with the total ban on the purchase of new cars except replacements. The instructions also said the measures would be reviewed after March 31, 2012.

Principal secretary, finance, Ajit Mohan Sharan said that though no relaxations had been made in the instructions, the vehicles being purchased were mere replacements of the old vehicles.

"The finance department is not allowing the purchase of any new vehicles unless there is a real functional requirement. All orders placed on Wednesday are replacements, which are not barred," he said.

The most notable pick on Wednesday was the indent of the police department for buying SUVs Ford Endevaours with automatic transmission. "The automatic transmission SUVs, to be used as escort cars in the chief minister's cavalcade, was the choice of the state CID. The security wing of the CID felt that an SUV with an auto transmission allows it to accelerate rapidly and is ideal as an escort vehicle," an official said.

In March this year, the state government had entitled the DCs and DSPs to get Maruti SX4 sedans instead of Maruti DZire as their official vehicle. The argument for the switchover was that Maruti DZire was rather small in comparison and the entitlement of DCs and SPs should be upgraded keeping in view their job profile.

In 2011, the government had purchased over a dozen petrol variants of Honda CR-V SUV for the ministers, assembly speaker and deputy speaker. The vehicle cost about Rs 22 lakh each. Toyota Fortuners, costing about Rs 19 lakh, were bought for the CPCs.