A week after HT reported the misuse of funds at the All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS), director Dr RC Deka surrendered his second car, which he had retained illegally.
According to the AIIMS rulebook, only the director, who enjoys a rank at par with a secretary rank officer in the health ministry, is allowed an earmarked car. At AIIMS, however, the director was using two cars and at least 10 other senior officials, including heads of five centres, kept official cars.
On May 3, in a story titled ‘AIIMS boss travels 6,500 kilometres every month’, HT had reported that the director was using over 650 litres of fuel every month for his two official cars.
Sources at AIIMS told HT that the director also gave up one of his three drivers, who he had engaged for overnight duty.
Meanwhile, new dean Dr Shashi Wadhwa, professor of anatomy at AIIMS, who took over last week after Dr Rani Kumar retired, refused the official vehicle, saying that it exceeded her entitlement.
“Now, there are two extra cars in the garage for faculty use. At least, there is some positive change since last week, though we don’t know how long it will continue,” said a senior AIIMS doctor.
“Since most of AIIMS’ official cars were with senior officials, leaving no cars for faculty use, the administration had decided to reimburse cars they hired for official use. This practice was not just unlawful as AIIMS has adequate cars in its pool, but also expensive and unsafe, besides being misuse of public money,” said the doctor.