Netas, babus in Assam developing taste for swanky cars
By Our Staff Reporter
Guwahati, Sept 27: A typical vehicle normally reaches the end of its useful life in around 12-14 years. But netas and babus of Assam seem more demanding as far as such standard norms are concerned. Dozens of government vehicles, some of which were used for less than five years, have been dumped inside the secretariat campus. Most of these are rusting into scrap due to ibility of the government to auction the vehicles off.
Over 30 vehicles, mostly ambassadors and gypsies, are lying abandoned near the Last Gate entrance of the secretariat for the past several years. These were used by ministers and senior bureaucrats who are now provided with SUVs and other high-end swanky cars.
Some vehicles – like an ambassador with registration number AS01 AN 8179 - were manufactured as recently as in 2010, indicating that these were used for less than five years. Most of the abandoned vehicles were manufactured between 2005 and 2010.
Sources in the Secretariat Administration department admit that as the vehicles had been lying there for years together, many are now beyond repair.
Another reason cited by the sources is that due to lack of funds, many government vehicles are not serviced regularly, leading to their much lesser life span. The government had given the go-ahead to the department to auction off these vehicles. “However, given the rates fixed by the Transport department, no buyer has turned up,” said an official.
On the other hand, as these vehicles gather dust and rust away, the Secretariat Administration department is facing a shortage of vehicles to be provided to the newly appointed thirteen parliamentary secretaries. As a result, the department is now in the process of hiring vehicles to meet the shortfall. As per intertiol norms, a typical car is driven 15,000 miles per year. According to the New York Times, in the 1960s and 1970s, the typical car reached its end of life around 100,000 miles, but due to manufacturing improvements such as tighter tolerances and better anti-corrosion coatings, in the 2000s the typical car lasts closer to 200,000 miles.