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Thursday, October 21, 2021

Haryana’s transport department in a tizzy over ‘unauthorised’ driver | Chandigarh News


CHANDIGARH: A driver employed with Haryana’s transport department, Ramesh Kumar, who superannuated from his job on April 30, has flouted the rules by “illegally” driving Haryana cooperative minister Banwari Lal’s official car for the last five months.
Interestingly, Kumar continued his ‘job’ as the driver of the minister’s official car despite the Haryana government clearly rejecting his case for re-employment. Sources confirmed that Kumar is continuing the job because of the “minister’s blessings” but the officials of the state’s transport department are in a dilemma. They have no idea how to clear the fuel bills raised by this “unofficial” and “unauthorised” driver.
Documents accessed by TOI also revealed that minister Banwari Lal had not permitted another driver sent by the transport department to join as his official driver and had even spoken to transport minister Mool Chand Sharma to allow the retired employee to continue in his post.
The officials of the Haryana transport department’s car section have no clarity on who would clear the fuel bills presented by the ‘unauthorised’ driver and who would update the logbook of the minister’s car. And there is no clarity on who is paying this ‘unauthorised’ driver’s salary.
Replacement driver not allowed to join
An official related to the senior mechanical engineer (SME) office of the Haryana transport department’s car section, confirmed that Kumar did not hand over the charge of the minister’s car and when a replacement driver was sent, the cooperative minister’s secretary did not permit him to join, saying that minister Banwari Lal had spoken to his ministerial colleague heading the transport department and the minister had assured him that he would consider the matter personally. “Ramesh Kumar has been doing the official duty of the minister’s car on his own and is not ready to leave the vehicle. This is against the state government’s rules of not leaving the charge even after retirement. What if an accident/mishap took place in the future and who will be responsible?” goes an internal communication of the department.
Sources added that the senior officials of the car section are avoiding taking any tough stance on the issue fearing the driver’s direct approach to the minister.
An administrative issue has also occurred regarding the legality of Kumar in continuing with his job as the minister’s driver even after retirement and after the denial of re-employment by the department as well as under the outsourcing policy.





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