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Car misuse charge on bureaucrats and police

Calcutta, Dec. 2: The CPM-controlled West Bengal Government Drivers’ and Mechanical Workers Union today alleged that some IAS and IPS officers were using hired automobiles in defiance of the state finance minister’s austerity drive.

“Ignoring (Asim) Dasgupta’s diktat, a section of bureaucrats and senior police officers have been using hired private cars despite adequate supply of government vehicles. This is definitely taking a toll of the state exchequer,” said the union’s general secretary, Padmeswar Saha.

Saha told reporters at the union’s office in Writers’ Buildings that a 17-point memorandum would be submitted to chief secretary Sourin Roy on Wednesday after a workers’ committee meeting.

“We wonder how the government is allowing such gross misuse of vehicles when we are passing through a financial crisis,” Saha said.

In October, Dasgupta had launched an austerity drive to minimise expenditure on the use of cars, telephones and air-conditioners. He had also said that joint secretaries and other officers of the same rank would not be allowed cars for pick ups. Instead, they could organise a carpool.

Officials said though November 16 was fixed as the deadline, reports are yet to come from the districts.

However, Dasgupta today said he had received reports from all departments. “Firm action will be taken against those found involved in extravagant use of either cars or telephones,” he promised.

Smarajit Roy Chowdhury, secretary of the CPM-dominated co-ordination committee of government employees, alleged that some government officers were using red lights indiscriminately.

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