Even as the farmers and NGOs groan under uncertainty and reel under the problems they are facing, Chief Minister N Kiran Kumar Reddy is going ahead with plans of purchasing a fleet of brand new Toyota Fortuner cars each costing Rs 50 lakh as a New Year Gift for himself, his Cabinet Colleagues and bureaucrats.
The fleet will of course serves his security providing cover against bomb attacks possibly from Maoists among others.
The brand new fleet of cars will be supplied to Ministers and top IAS cadre - in all costing Rs 36 crore, according to Chief Minister’s Office sources.
For the old timers, it may look strange that a single Ambassador car was at the disposal of the then chief minister Kasu Brahmananda Reddy in the 1960s.
The government’s decision to opt for the gleaming new fleet is in marked contrast to its denial, for a long period, to the demand by Telugu Desam Party president N Chandrababu Naidu with Z category security tag, for a fleet of Tata Safari since 2004. Mr Naidu got a convoy of eight gleaming new Safaris on August 6 after the government finally accepted the TDP’s demand on June 11.
Interestingly, the file related to the purchase of new cars was sent back when Rosaiah regime sent it to Governor ESL Narasimhan.
However, the Chief Minister managed to secure the Governor’s approval now, perhaps citing security reasons.
The brand new cars in the fleet will have more space and are designed to cater to the VVIP’s whims. Besides extra fittings, they are said to be well powered too.
It may be recalled here that former chief minister YS Rajasekhara Reddy also upgraded his and his cabinet colleagues' cars from Tata Scorpio to Safaris. It is understood that YSR also said no to upgrade Mr Naidu's transport from bullet proof Ambassadors to Tata Safaris.