‘2 Maharashtra ministers use more than 1 car, violating govt rules’
RTI reply states Pandurang Fundkar and Sadabhau Khot are using more than one carmumbai Updated: Jan 09, 2018 00:22 IST
Despite an order from the Maharashtra government that ministers should not use more than one car, state agriculture minister Pandurang Fundkar is using two additional vehicles, while minister of state for agriculture Sadabhau Khot, is using one additional vehicle, a Right to Information (RTI) query has revealed. These vehicles are in addition to the vehicles provided by Mantrayala to the two ministers.
According to the notification issued by the General Administration Department on December 26, 2005, a minister would get just one vehicle for official use.
According to the response to an RTI query filed by activist Anil Galgali, Fundkar has been given two additional cars and three drivers, the expenses of which are borne by the Maharashtra Agro Industries Development Corporation (MAIDC)— a government body under the agriculture department. The response also revealed that Radhakrishna Vikhe Patil, a senior Congress leader and a former agriculture minister, is using the services of a driver employed permanently with the Corporation.
“As per the RTI information I received, the expenses for maintenance of Pandurang Fundkar’s vehicles incurred by the Corporation were Rs 25.25 lakh in the past seven months, which includes expense for a new vehicle,” Galgali said. He said expenses incurred by Sadabhau Khot totalled Rs26.50 lakh, which included a new vehicle, its driver and fuel costs - the cost of which was also borne by the Corporation. “This is a clear misuse of power,” Galgali said. Fundkar is using a Toyotal Altis and a Toyota Innova, while Khot is using a Toyota Crysta, the RTI reply stated.
Apart from the ministers, the agriculture department’s principal secretary Bijay Kumar’s driver is employed by the MAIDC and has incurred a cost of Rs66,035 over the past seven months on driver’s salary and fuel cost, the RTI reply said. “The ministers are circumventing the rules and getting additional vehicles from a different government body under their ministry. I am sure there are many other ministers using public money for multiple cars,” Galgali said.
Despite several attempts, Fundkar, Khot and Vikhe Patil were not available for comments.