Mumbai’s taxpayers will be shelling out an extra Rs 5 lakh – over and above the existing budget of Rs 15 lakh – to buy a new car for the BMC’s elected Mayor Vishwanath Mahadeshwar.
According to .a Hindustan Times report, the civic body has already purchased the new vehicle for the Mayor for around Rs 19.9 lakh, a cost which is roughly 33 percent more the allotted budget of Rs 15 lakh.
The vehicle, a top model Toyota Innova Crysta (2.4D-ZX, 7-seater MT), was registered at Tardeo RTO on October 4. It’s cost is expected to go up some more as it is being fitted with additional accessories at the civic body’s garage in Arthur Road.
Till now, the Shiv Sena politician was using the Mahindra XUV 500, which was reportedly purchased in 2014 during the tenure of former Mayor Snehal Ambekar at a cost of Rs 10.4 lakh.
When contacted by the daily, Mahadeshwar claimed that the new vehicle was purchased as the older one was in a bad shape. He further stated that the decision to purchase the new car was taken by the administration.
Although the Mayor is entitled to travel in a vehicle worthy of his stature, Mahadeshwar has been criticised by opposition leaders for the seemingly quick change and going over budget.
Activists too have slammed the Mayor for failing to lead by example and opting for the more polluting diesel variant.
Mahadeshwar was elected as Mayor of BMC, the country’s richest civic body, in March this year.