CHANDIGARH: The cash-strapped Punjab government has cleared a proposal to buy high-end bullet-proof SUVs worth crores of rupees for the CM, deputy CM and other ministers of the state.
D P Reddy, principal secretary, department of finance, said a proposal to buy SUVs has been cleared. The purchase of 14 bullet-proof Land Cruisers for CM Parkash Singh Badal and Deputy CM Sukhbir Singh Badal is expected to cost Rs 23.80 crore. Sources said the proposal was cleared in the wake of the Pathankot terrorist attacks and the tenders will be floated soon.
An official said that the vehicles will have similar specifications as those used in the PM’s cavalcade.
The state Cabinet ministers are also expected to get new vehicles. “The ministers’ vehicles will be replaced by new ones, keep in view their respective choices,’’ another officer said, adding that around `5 crore will be spent on them.
The Akali Dal has recently bought Toyota Innovas for its MLAs. Harmail Singh, state transport commissioner, said, “The vehicles for MLAs have been handed over to them.’’
Meanwhile, the state police has been asked to recruit former SPG personnel in the Special Protection Unit (SPU), which guards the Badals. “It will be on need basis this time. Last time we recruited 80 former SPG personnel in the SPU,’’ an official said.