Taxis hired by them are allowed free passage into Vidhana Soudha area
BANGALORE: The police have tightened security around the Vidhana Soudha and Vikasa Soudha.
Private vehicles, including taxis, are being thoroughly checked before letting them inside.
People, especially those, who do not use government vehicles to come to the Secretariat are stopped at Devaraj Urs Gate or Gopala Gowda Gate, or the Subhash Chandra Bose Gate and checked if they have the pass.
The vehicles are again stopped by another set of security officers after a few yards and checked.
However, most government vehicles used by Ministers, secretaries and legislators are allowed without checks.
A senior officer, who did not wish to be identified, said that a number of taxis hired by Ministers or senior bureaucrats also get the same treatment as they sport the government insignia or that of organisations.
The State Government and Government Concerns Drivers’ Federation has charged officers using taxis with unauthorisedly fixing plates with names of the departments or organisations written on them, violating the circular issued by the Department of Public Enterprises on January 25, 2008.
Speaking to The Hindu, federation president M.N. Venugopal alleged that hundreds of taxis and other private vehicles were being used by government departments, boards, corporations and quasi-government organisations in such a manner.
It was a threat to the security of the buildings, Mr. Venugopal added.
In another circular, issued on January 25, 1997, Ministers and officers were told to go in for only white Ambassador cars, keeping in mind the cost and for maintaining uniformity, but this had not been heeded to.
Mr. Venugopal complained that many officers were parking vehicles near their residences, which was a violation of rules.
Moreover, the drivers were asked by some to hand over the keys without recording it in the log book, he alleged and said that if the car was stolen, the driver would be held responsible for it.
He produced a letter written by R. Breenther, senior driver in the Karnataka Administrative Tribunal, alleging that a deputy registrar, who had been given an Ambassador car, had asked him to park the vehicle on the road outside her residence. Mr. Venugopal alleged that many officers, who were ineligible for a car had also been accommodated by the higher-ups.
He alleged that many officers, including some KAT members, were using the VIP beacon lights on their official cars, violating the notification issued on January 23, 2008.