Transport officers spend public money for offices

  • Tarsem Singh Deogan, Hindustan Times, Ludhiana
  • Updated: Nov 19, 2014 00:33 IST

Money collected by the transport department from the public in the name of extra services at local offices has been spent by the transport officers to renovate their offices, instead of spending it on making infrastructure for the people.

In the name of installing help desks at the local transport offices, the officers have spent huge sums on giving their space a lavish look.

The transport department had collected Rs 42 crore from August 1, 2011, till date in the name of extra services at help desks at the offices. The help desks were never installed but officers have started charging people for extra services at the desks.

Replying to an application filed under the Right to Information Act, the transport department disclosed that 39 air conditioners, 17 tables, 149 chairs, four sofa sets, 20 computers, 20 scanners, 20 printers, 64 fans, three LED TVs, water purifier and other furniture were purchased from the funds.

Gurdeep Singh Alag, head of the Ludhiana helpage Charitable Trust who filed the RTI application, said the department had also informed that they had spent Rs 3.35 crore on advertisements, Rs 9.34 crore in boot operator expenses, Rs 10.1 crore for building renovation expenses, Rs 28.5 lakh on salaries and Rs 31.1 lakh on consultancy expenses.

The inventory of expenditures includes telephone bills, electricity charges, municipal taxes and others.

Alag said the officers had renovated those offices where there was no public dealing. He added that the officers had misused the funds, which were meant to create facilities for the public, for their leisure.

"According to the RTI reply, the expenditure on salaries is Rs 28.5 lakh. The department has not started help desks yet, then who is being paid the salaries?" asked Alag.

"The officers have grabbed more than Rs 33 crore out of the money they collected from the people. It is a scam and the government should initiate a vigilance enquiry into it," he added.

Despite several attempts, state transport commissioner Ashwani Sharma was not available for comments.

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