Karnataka Govt Officials May Lose Comfort Of Private Cars, To Travel By Ola, Uber Now
Government officials in Karnataka might not enjoy the comfort of private chauffeur-driven cars anymore for daily use. The Karnataka state government is planning to coordinate with app-based cab services like Ola and Uber to provide services to high ranking government officials who are generally allotted a private car for professional and personal use, reported The Times Of India. This decision is being considered for bringing down the huge cost burden incurred on the state treasury to arrange private cars for every official.
Reportedly, the decision follows CM Kumaraswamy’s announcement to curb excess government expenditure in various sectors and help assemble funds for his Rs 40,000 crore farm-loan waiver proposal.
Over 100 crore spent annually on officials’ cars
Department of Personnel and Administrative Reforms has revealed the statistics of how government officials’ vehicles are costing over Rs 100 crores of state revenue per annum. The average charge per vehicle is Rs 25,000 per month and around 5000 cars are hired every month by various government departments through outsourcing. Each vehicle has the contract to work eight hours a day with a maximum distance limit of 80 km and an extra Rs 40 is charged per hour beyond the daily limit.
How Ola and Uber can be helpful
The government feels that the cost can be nearly halved by using Ola, Uber and similar cab aggregators on a trip basis. Cabs will be hired for pick-up and drop facility from home to office in the morning and vice-versa after office hours.
The proposal is yet to be finalized as the transport department wishes to conduct a detailed analysis of the benefits and drawbacks of cab services, keeping in mind the security and comfort of the officials. They will also calculate the amount of saving before starting a conversation with the cab aggregators.
“Once we submit a detailed report to the chief secretary, a decision will be taken on using cab aggregators,” the Times Of India quoted Beeresh, deputy secretary of the Dept of Transport.
Protests from the State Govt Driver’s Association
The president of Karnataka State Government Driver’s Association, Thimmaiah, chooses to disagree with the government figures of expenditure, claiming over 15,000 vehicles are hired every month. Speaking to The Times Of India, he also said that the government engages drivers without verifying antecedents. He pointed out that this decision might pose a great security risk to the top government officers. “We have complained about it on many occasions but nobody is bothered about it,” he added that if the proposal is implemented their association will openly oppose it.