Jammu: The government on Saturday came under sharp criticism for providing ‘excess’ government vehicles for various Vice Chairmen of Corporations in the state. The transport department was also condemned for appointing a non-local resident as ‘Consultant’.
As soon as the discussion of grants for the transport department was initiated, NC lawmaker Altaf Wani accused the transport department of causing loses to the state exchequer by providing excess vehicles to the vice chairmen of various corporations.
“The elected MLA is given only one vehicle but the transport department has allotted four to five vehicles to VCs of various corporations, which is causing a huge loss to the state exchequer,” he said.
The NC lawmaker accused the government of making appointment of VCs done to rehabilitate the defeated candidates.
“Transport department has allotted more vehicles to defeated candidates than MLAs,” he alleged.
During the discussions, a ruling PDP MLA Farooq Andrabi expressed concern over harassment of drivers who are ‘fleeced by police manning the roads.’
“Traffic police at many places harass the drivers coming from other places to the state. Police is never concerned about the violations but force drivers to pay money to them which have send a wrong message outside,” he said.
NC leader Mubarak Gul in his speech called for strengthening of SRTC and said the government should do auction of old fleet of vehicles and purchase new vehicles for public use.
“The new buses will also attract tourists,” he said. Gul maintained that there was no check from the department on the drivers taking their vehicles outside state.
“Given the condition of roads, drivers in state should have hill license but most of them have fake licenses which is a major concern,” he said.
Congress MLA Vikar Rasool slammed the government for its failure to control the traffic jams on national highway and other city roads.
“Besides Srinagar Jammu highway the traffic situation in Srinagar has worsened and even MLAs at times have missed their flights and students miss their exams as well. Government has miserably failed to regulate the traffic management,” he said.
Later the opposition members cornered the Minister for Transport, Sunil Sharma for appointing a non-state subject in transport department saying that it was a move to rehabilitate ‘RSS worker’ in the state.
NC leader Muhammad Akbar Lone questioned the government for appointment of non-state subject Anuj Malhotra, in the transport department and asked the government under which laws it approved the appointment of Sharma in a government department.
“Wasn’t here anyone else available in the state to do the same job for the department? Under which rules and laws you appointed him and who authorized you to do this,” Lone questioned.
He alleged that the appointment was made to rehabilitate an ‘RSS agent’ and demanded that the engagement of Malhotra should be investigated.
“Will there be any inquiry on this fraudulent appointment. Department should probe about how this appointment was made,” he said.
However, the transport minister admitted that his department engaged a non-state subject.
“But he has not been given any job, as he has been appointed as advisor for one year and his term can be extended if needed,” the minister said.