Hyderabad: It's been almost 14 months and the transport department is yet to clear the payments for around 160 hired vehicles that are being used by officials/for around 160 vehicles that are being hired for use by officials. As a result, many drivers who ended up taking loans to purchase their vehicles are being subjected to penalties for non-payment.
In an interview with this newspaper, Mr Shaik Salauddin from the Four Wheelers Association said, “Most commercial drivers come from poor financial backgrounds. We avail loans to buy our vehicles. So when we’re not paid on time, we end up in debt.”
It is estimated that nearly 25,000 vehicles in Telangana state are being hired by various departments, and nearly 161 vehicles across the state belong to/are being hired by the transport department alone. Unfortunately, no relevant budget has been released over the past year as a result of which, the pending vehicle rental bills haven’t been processed yet. With each vehicle costing Rs 33,000 per month on average, the total monthly expenditure incurred by the state equates to Rs 53,13,000, and the annual expenditure towards the same averages to over Rs 6.5 crores.
However, transport officials said that only Rs 5 lakh had been released towards the pending bills so far and that the overdue payments can be cleared only after they receive a budget from the government....