Khattar removes 730 personnel deployed in VIP security

Khattar removes 730 personnel deployed in VIP security

Haryana Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar has removed as many as 730 security personnel deployed in VIP security, including 130 from his own security cover, in an attempt to trim down the state expenditure.

"The state government is cutting down on the expenditure and as many as 730 excess security personnel have been removed. I have also cut down my security squad by 130 personnel," Khattar said today.

Officials said that Khattar had been trying to reduce the expenditure on his travels, and setting an example for his colleague too.

Keeping in view his plans, around 40 out of 300 staff members, including security personnel from the CM carcade have been removed, said a senior state government official.

Khattar also refused to buy a plane, which was proposed during the previous Bhupinder Singh Hooda-led Congress government.

Principal secretary to CM Sanjeev Kaushal said that Khattar was not inclined to buy the plane as it would cost around Rs 45 crore to the state exchequer.

The state government has a KingAir B-200 plane and a chopper. The plane is grounded since March 27 after a crash landing.

All these steps are being taken by Khattar at a time when Haryana is facing a debt liability of around Rs 82,000 crore.

"Khattar will travel by train and occasionally by bus to reduce the expenditure. In a first such initiative, Khattar reached Chandigarh from Delhi by Shatabdi Express train recently after assuming charge," an official spokesman said.

It's an exercise to decrease the expenses apart from advocating simplicity, Khattar said adding that idea was just for best utilization of available mediums of transportation, including train and bus.

"The bus can be used when the option of Shatabdi is not available," said Jawahar Yadav, officer on special duty to the CM. However, he said the CM would travel by helicopter or plane also whenever required.

Khattar, who is minister of BJP's first government in Haryana, has a lot of 'firsts' to his credit.

Khattar, who won his debut election with a huge margin from Karnal is also the first chief minister to stay at the CM's residence without his family.

The chief minister has ordered to prune his security and cavalcade to the bare necessity with a hope that others in the cabinet will follow the suit, officials said.

Khattar, however, enjoys a Z-plus security cover. As CM, he is also entitled to an official residence in Delhi besides Chandigarh, but he has opted to stay in the Haryana Bhawan during his visits to the capital, officials said.

Meanwhile, the Haryana government had recently cut down the security cover of former CM Bhupinder Singh Hooda from Z-plus to Y and that of his Cabinet colleague Randeep Singh Surjewala from Z to Y.

However, Sirsa-based Dera Sacha Sauda chief Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh who has also received threats from Sikh militants (mainly Babbar Khalsa International which attacked his cavalcade near Karnal in 2008) has Z-plus protection, police said.

The entire Badal family in Punjab is fortified by around 900 state police officers besides NSG commandos for CM Parkash Singh Badal and CISF personnel for his son. Part of the family, Revenue Minister Bikram Singh Majithia and Union Minister Harsimrat Kaur Badal are also under Z-plus and Z security covers, respectively.

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