Jammu, October 19: Two Battery Operated Vehicles procured by Patnitop Development Authority costing about Rs 27.38 lakh on the pretext of promoting tourism have been lying unused which is clear misuse of public money
As per the reply to a RTI filed by Bhagat Singh Force, an organization, two Battery powered Road Vehicles were purchased from M/S Bharat Heavy Electricals Ltd (BHEL), a Govt. of India Undertaking in June 2004, to curb Environmental pollution and promote eco-friendly tourism. The proposal to buy these cars was made in the 2nd meeting of Patnitop Development Authority under the Chairmanship of then Chief Minister.
The organization has accused the then ARTO Udhampur who made unreasonable delay in the use of these vehicles. It has been clear in the reply that the initial delay was made because ARTO Udhampur did not register the vehicle and referred the matter to Transport Commissioner, J&K seeking necessary guidelines as these vehicles were first of their kind in J&K.
Also, the authorities have said that the vehicle started operating on the Circular Road, Patnitop but just after few months of operation, the vehicle developed defects. As per official records, the vehicle ferry just 500 tourists between May 2005 and October 2005.
Also, as per officials of Patnitop Development Authority have claimed that they approached BHEL several for deploying a team of experts for check up of the vehicles but they did not respond.
In 2009, RK Sharma, General Manager, BHEL informed the PDA office that the company has discontinued the manufacturing of the Battery Operated Vehicles’. Authority claimed that it tried its best to get the battery operated vehicles operational but could not succeed in the efforts.
After wasting Rs 27.38 lakh, the authority has claimed that they were finalizing a proposal for outsou