Puducherry

Govt. to probe ‘malpractices’ at PRTC

Procedural violation:It is alleged that as many as 20 Volvo buses were purchased at a cost of Rs.13 crore without prior approval of the PRTC board.— Photo: T. Singaravelou

Procedural violation:It is alleged that as many as 20 Volvo buses were purchased at a cost of Rs.13 crore without prior approval of the PRTC board.— Photo: T. Singaravelou  

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Inquiry panel will find out whether due procedures were followed in purchase of buses

The government will undertake a probe into the alleged malpractices and corruption in the government-owned Puducherry Road Transport Corporation (PRTC).

Revenue and Transport Minister M.O.H.F. Shahjahan made the announcement to constitute an inquiry panel in the Assembly while replying to AIADMK Deputy Legislature party leader A. Anbalagan who drew the attention of the government to various “irregularities and corruption” in purchase of buses, recruitment of drivers and the routine administration of the Corporation during the previous AINRC regime.

Earlier, raising the issue during zero hour, Mr. Anbalagan said PRTC had incurred losses to the tune of Rs.55 crore in the last six years.

Alleging malpractices in purchase of spare parts, he said as many as 20 Volvo buses were purchased at a cost of Rs.13 crore without the prior approval of the PRTC board. The vehicles were outdated models and each bus consumed 200 litres of diesel a day against the 120 litres in standard buses.

‘Rs. 22-crore loss’

Mr. Shahjahan said the AIADMK member’s complaints were correct and that the corporation had incurred a loss of Rs. 22 crore in the purchase of buses during the last regime. The present government is very keen that the corporation be put on the right track and the inquiry would go into the allegations.

The inquiry would check whether proper procedures were followed in the purchase of vehicles. The government, at the end of the inquiry, would take action against those responsible for the present situation.

Mr. Shahjahan said the government would also appoint an inquiry committee headed by Industries Secretary to go into the alleged malpractices and irregularities in Anglo French Textiles (AFT) mills.

Intervening, Chief Minister V. Narayanasamy said that within days of assuming office, he and Mr. Shahjahan had visited the PRTC office after informing the authorities concerned. However, the Managing Director of PRTC was not present and had gone to Bengaluru even after knowing about their visit.

Mr. Narayanasamy said PRTC had purchased “fuel guzzling vehicles” and it was also one of the reasons for the corporation’s losses. The previous government had also recruited around 190 drivers and conductors at the fag end of its tenure.

PRTC’s total revenue is Rs.30 crore while the total expenditure stands at Rs.40 crore and grants available from the government, Rs.10 crore. The government has made it clear to the employees that subsidy and grants would be earmarked only if the corporation functioned profitably.

Mr. Anbalagan also wanted the inquiry to cover the role of the former non-official chairman as his role added to the malpractices in the corporation. Mr. Narayanasamy said this would also be covered by the inquiry.

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Printable version | Dec 10, 2019 1:38:27 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/puducherry/Govt.-to-probe-%E2%80%98malpractices%E2%80%99-at-PRTC/article14630669.ece

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