On Fuel Paid By Taxpayers, Haryana Education Minister Travels 809 Kms Daily, Reveals RTI Report
Imagine if you had to travel back and forth from Pune to Mumbai, not once, but three times every day! That is how much travelling the Education Minister of Haryana seems to be doing lately. As per an RTI data on Ram Bilas Sharma’s use of cars, it has been revealed that over the period of last 14 months, the minister has travelled 3.4 lakh kilometres. This means that he has been keeping extremely busy with his work as he has to spend most of his time travelling 809 kms per day.
Travelling 809 kms
The RTI data also reveals that Sharma’s fuel consumption is close to 2,430 litres per month resulting in the monthly cost of Rs 1.55 lakh. According to Indian Today, Ram Bilas Sharma, while talking to media persons said, “The RTI must also mention my constituency which is very far from Chandigarh, and I like to travel the most by cars.” Reportedly, the minister is found in Chandigarh for at least three to four days a week.
However, health minister Anil Vij said, “ The ministers don’t drive their cars, so how will they know the distance the car has travelled? It is the driver driving the car, so the driver will know how much the car has travelled.”
The 2016 report
However, Haryana is not new to RTI data like these. Earlier in 2016, The Logical Indian reported on a similar incident when an RTI query revealed that official vehicles issued to the Haryana government are always on the run! While eight official vehicles belonging to the CM cover less than 20,000 km in a month, cars allotted to other cabinet ministers were driven far more than all of the CM’s cars put together.
An RTI activist Jagjit Singh Walia had raised suspicion over the distances travelled by Haryana Ministers in government cars, saying that the exorbitant distances logged by them point towards ‘foul play’. However, the cabinet ministers had claimed that the extensive usage of cars is an indication that the ministers are working hard and are connected to the people.
The Logical Indian take
It must be remembered that expenses for travel purposes of the ministers are borne out by taxpayers money. This revelation hints towards some ‘foul play’ as has been rightly called out by RTI activist Jagjit Singh Walia. If a Minister travels 809 Km per day then when does he work is the question to be asked.