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Travel tales: Haryana ministers travel for 800 km per day. When do they work?

An RTI has revealed that many ministers are using their cars for over 500 kilometers per day i.e over 15,000 kilometers per month and their fuel cost is running over Rs 1 lakh per month.

New Delhi: Contrary to the austerity talks of Haryana Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar, BJP ministers in the state are always on the move in their luxury cars. They are covering a distance of about 800 km per day, according to an RTI reply furnished by the government.

To put it into perspective, the ministers are travelling from Chandigarh to Gurgaon three times a day, daily.

The latest development has surprised Khattar’s associates who say that the CM, known for leading a frugal lifestyle, used to travel in buses, trains and even on scooters.

The RTI revealed that many ministers are using their cars for over 500 kilometers per day i.e. over 15,000 kilometers per month, eventually spending over Rs 1 lakh per month on fuel alone.

Interestingly, the Chief Minister, who has a fleet of five cars, is running less than 6,500 kilometers per month.

A similar shocking figure emerged in 2016, when Gurgaon resident Jagjit Singh Walia, an activist filed an RTI. “Nothing has changed at all. Haryana ministers continue to misuse their official vehicle. It is shocking that they are using their cars over 800 kilometers. If they are travelling so much then when are they working?” questioned Walia.

He added, “Public money is being wasted. This matter should be investigated.”

Following Walia’s RTI, Haryana ministers had ordered an inquiry and also suspended their drivers but a fresh data shows nothing much has changed as the mantris’ cars continue to be on a run. In fact, the government last year purchased luxury cars – Toyota Fortuner, Honda CRV and Toyota Corola Altis – for the ministers citing that their cars have covered over 3.5 lakh kilometer.

RTI data shows Haryana’s education minister Ram Bilas Sharma tops the charts as his cars covered 3.40 lakh kilometer in 16 months – January 2017 to April 2018. His cars run for over 21,000 kilometer in a month on an average.

In 2016, when the matter came to light first, Sharma had justified the fact saying, “We are travelling so much in order to reach out to the people.”

There are some ministers, however, whose cars run less than 12,000 kilometers a month on an average. This includes Finance and Industries Minister Captain Abhimanyu, Anil Vij, Kavita Jain, Vipul Goyal, Nayab Singh Saini and Narbir Singh.

Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar

The CM has five cars, which include two Mercedes Benz and three Honda CRVs. The RTI revealed that his cars have travelled a total of 1,03,308 km in 16 months (January 2017 to April 2018), that is 6,456 km in a month and close to 215 km in a day.

Surprisingly, Khattar’s all five cars are not fuel efficient, as Mercedes gives an average of 5 kilometers per litre while Honda’s SUV give an average of 7 km per litre. His average fuel cost is over Rs 63,200 per month (calculated at an average of Rs 64 per litre) consuming close to 990 litres of fuel.

Ram Bilas Sharma, Education Minister

Ram Bilas Sharma tops the chart when it comes to using his cars. He has two luxury cars – Toyota Fortuner and a Toyota Corolla Altis.

In April 2017, his daily run was around 840 kilometer a day. Similarly, in July 2017, he travelled a total of 24,400 kilometers, close to 810 kilometers a day. However, his average run per day in the last 16 months is close to 710 kilometers per day. His cars have consumed an average of 2,430 liters of fuel per month costing around Rs 1.55 lakh per month.

Om Prakash Dhankar, Agriculture Minister

Dhankar also maintains two official cars – a Toyota Fortuner and Toyota Corolla Altis. His total travelling in 16 months is 2,37,865 kilometer, average of14,866 km in a month and 495 km in a day. His average fuel cost per month is close to Rs 1.10 lakh.

Krishan Lal Panwar, Transport Minister

Panwar’s official cars are Toyota Fortuner and Corolla Altis and the average running of his cars are 16,056 kilometer. His cars travel close to 535 km every day and consume 1,836 litre fuel every month costing about Rs 1.17 lakh for the fuel.

Krishan Bedi, Minister of State

His official cars are Honda CRV and Toyota Corolla Altis. His average travelling per day is 588 kilometer with the average monthly running of 17,643 kilomter. Average fuel consumption is 2123 liter per month costing about Rs 1.36 lakh a month.

Karan Dev Kamboj, Minister of State

Kamboj has Honda CRV and Corolla Altis as his official cars. His monthly travel is 15,577 kilometer and he covers 519 km daily. His monthly fuel expense is 1,890 litres costing around Rs 1.21 lakh monthly.

Nayab Singh, Minister of State

Singh also has a Honda CRV and Toyota Corolla Altis car. RTI data shows that the minister travels 16,829 kilometers monthly while his average daily travel is 561 kilometer. His cars consume 2,144 kilometer every month, andclose to Rs 1.37 lakh is spent per month for the fuel.

Manish Grover, Minister of State

Grover has Toyota Fortuner and Toyota Corolla Altis car. He uses his car around 510 kilometers daily as his monthly average is 15,255 kilometer. Grover’s car consumes fuel worth Rs 1.07 lakh monthly (1,678 litres monthly).

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Shashank Shekhar

Shashank Shekhar works as a Deputy Editor for DB Post. He specialises in investigative, terrorism, internal security and policy-making related stories. He has an active interest in tracking cybercrime, financial fraud, technology, automobile and latest trends. He can be reached at: shashank.shekhar3@bdcorp.in Follow him on Twitter @shashankrnq