Leader of the Opposition in the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) is exasperated after the official vehicle he was provided when he took charge three months ago, has been under repair for most of the time on account of repeated snags.
“It’s been just three months since I assumed the office of the opposition leader and during this period the vehicle has developed snags at least 20 times. Despite repeated repair works the vehicle is in bad shape,” said Devendra Amberkar, leader of the Opposition in the BMC.
The 49-year-old Congress party member is upset about this that he decided to return the Scorpio and on Wednesday he wrote to the transport department of the BMC informing them of his decision. He says he will use his personal vehicle or the public transport as he goes about his work.
This episode is strange, considering that the city mayor Sunil Prabhu was given a brand new Mahindra XUV for his official use a couple of weeks ago. It’s his third car in his 23-month stint.
But the leader of the opposition has not been treated as well. Amberkar represents the Andheri Four Bungalows area where he lives. It takes him at least an hour and a half to get from his residence to the civic headquarters in South Mumbai by road.
Amberkar suspects a racket in the department and he has complained about this to the Sitaram Kunte, the civic chief, Mohan Adtani, additional municipal commissioner, and senior officials and also demanded an inquiry into the matter. “I think the staff handling the vehicles are involved in a sort of corruption that must be inquired into, as taxpayers’ money is being spent to repair these vehicles,” Amberkar said.
According to the civic rules, official vehicles are provided to the mayor, the deputy mayor, the leader of the opposition, leader of the House and heads of all statutory and special committees. A senior official confirmed receiving Amberkar’s complaint.