Political appointees make merry at MC expenses
The municipal corporation of Ludhiana has again landed in a soup as a report by the comptroller and auditor general has questioned its action of providing three vehicles, drivers and fuel to persons “not authorised for these facilities” under the rules.
Dalit Vikas Board chairman Vijay Danav, Safai Karamchari Bhalai Board chairman Raj Kumar and board vice-chairman DP Khosla are availing of the benevolence of the MC at present.
The CAG report has also questioned the MC for allowing fuel over and above the prescribed limit of 216 litres per month for vehicles at the disposal of these three persons.
MC Ludhiana has, in the past, shot off at least three letters to the Punjab local bodies department in Chandigarh and sought clarifications regarding official vehicles provided to these persons. Due to the alleged laidback attitude of the department, no reply was given to the MC, due to which the corporation is finding itself in an embarrassing situation.
Sources said that two Bolero jeeps have been put at the disposal of Danav and Raj Kumar, whereas Khosla has been given an Ambassador car.
All the political appointees heading various boards and corporations were asked to resign during the Punjab assembly election last year; however, these three were among those who were not asked to do so, as a result of which they continued to work on the same posts.
When contacted, MC Commissioner RK Verma said that letters were sent to the local bodies department regarding the provision of vehicles to the three persons. “However, we have not received a reply from the department, on which we can act,” said Verma.
Vijay Danav, chairman of Dalit Vikas Board, maintained that the boards were formed on the directions of deputy chief minister Sukhbir Badal. “We were also appointed by the deputy chief minister and provided with official vehicles,” he claimed.
He said that fuel allocation was also allowed by the state government and board chairman and vice-chairman have nothing to do with it. “We were appointed by the government as per rules and regulations,” Danav added.
Interestingly, Hindustan Times had recently raised questions over use of excess fuel over and above the official limit by most officials, based on official documents on fuel use by MC officials. A new system of SMSes has been started by filling stations to stop pilferage allegedly done by MC drivers.