Post-accident, mayor hires MUV, leaves MCC poorer

Even as the Mysuru City Corporation (MCC) is grappling with many woes—failing to mop up its revenue and mounting expenditure, the mayor has hired a multi-utility vehicle (MUV) at the cost of the civic body. He came to the MCC in the MUV to attend the council meeting on Thursday.

Mayor B L Bhyrappa has been using Toyota Innova, a private carrier, ever since his official car (Toyota Corolla Altis) met with an accident at Ragimuddanahalli, Srirangapatna taluk, on Mysuru-Bengaluru road, 10 days ago on January 11. The cab is given an ‘official look’ with a green board in the front, normally seen on any vehicle hired by the city corporation, in Kannada it reads ‘Mysuru Mahanagara Palike Seveyalli, Mahapouraru’ (in the service of Mysuru City Corporation, Mayor).

An official preferring anonymity told Deccan Herald, the Mayor sought Innova and we have arranged for it. However, there is no decision yet on who actually will pay the bill.

The 150-year old MCC has gradually replaced its fleet of cars, a majority with hired vehicles, spending several lakhs of rupees towards monthly bills (for service providers).

Barring luxury cars like Altis and Mitsubishi Lancer at the service of mayor and deputy mayor respectively, and six ambassadors ferrying the commissioner, additional commissioner, deputy commissioner and a few top officials, 40 vehicles (including cars and vans) are hired on a contract basis, to ferry officials in different cadres, including chairpersons of four standing committees in the civic body.

The mayor got his new car in the year 2010. Following this, the car (lancer) earlier at the service of the first citizen was transferred to his deputy (mayor).

According to a rough estimate, monthly bills in the range of Rs 25,000 to Rs 35,000 are paid for vehicles hired on contract. Comparatively, the vehicles hired by the mayor for now on a temporary basis could prove costly with the daily bill touching an average of Rs 3,000, as travel operators normally charge Rs 12 per km for Innova with AC facility. The per km charge will be levied for a minimum of 250 km (irrespective of travelling distance).

Going by officials’ version, it may take another week or fortnight for the mayor to get his official car back, with the repair works still on. Following the mishap, when a tipper lorry brushed the right side of the vehicle, damaging the bonnet and other parts, the company estimated the cost at Rs 3 lakh. However, the insurance firm has agreed to settle for Rs 1.5 lakh, said an officer.

Till then, the mayor will continue to ride at the cost of taxpayer’s expenditure. Mayor Bhyrappa was not available for comment.

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