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Bihar ministers’ flashy cars give in to old faithful

Patna, Dec. 19: Blame it on the bad roads or the “unparalleled comfort” of the good-old Ambassador, Bihar ministers are seeking to switch their swanky rides in favour of the old ones.

The government had purchased 56 luxury cars in 2006 for a sum of Rs 3 crore to give the government a “new look”. But a year later, ministers are now complaining about their high-maintenance rides with the “lack” of leg space and over all “discomfort”.

Bihar has 28 ministers including the chief minister. Fourteen among the 28 were granted luxury rides. But, chief minister Nitish Kumar and deputy chief minister Sushil Kumar Modi travel mostly in Ambassadors. Luxury cars, however, remain a part of their cavalcades.

Water resources minister Ramashray Prasad Singh, who travels in the new car recently gave a written complaint about his “troublesome” four-wheeler.

Though an official inquiry failed to find any technical flaw in the new cars, there was no way to dissuade the senior ministers from demanding the “sturdy Ambassadors” back, said a senior government officer.

Other ministers have also joined in the demand for more Ambassadors.

Modi admitted: “We are going to order for 100 more Ambassador cars sooner or later.” He added that the government was forced to purchase more of the “old faithful” as the state had a number of senior bureaucrats and officials in the sub-division and block levels who had no official vehicle.

Modi conceded: “Despite availability of new cars, Ambassadors enjoyed a proud status.”

The luxury cars, now used by a smaller number of ministers, would be given to other offices once the Ambassadors arrive in a few months.

Getting luxury cars was a matter of policy decision, added the deputy CM putting a stop to any blame game.

Technical experts, too, ruled in favour of the Ambassadors. Mahesh Kumar, a senior mechanic at Amba Motors here, believes:

“While Ambassadors have its oil chamber and bumper well above roads, most new cars place it much lower making it vulnerable because of the uneven Bihar roads.”

It seems that the Bihar ministers seem to know the best, even when it comes to mechanical details.

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