Hyderabad: A bullet-proof Mercedes-Benz bus has been purchased for Chief Minister K Chandrasekhar Rao for his tours of Telangana. The cost to the state is five crores.
The white bus was the subject of a puja this morning in Hyderabad, the capital of Telangana.
It was brought on Wednesday evening from Chandigarh to the outskirts of Hyderabad, triggering criticism of self-indulgence by the leader of a state where over 700 farmers, steeped in debt, are reported to have killed themselves in the last year.
“A bus is the easiest way for the Chief Minister to meet with people and move among them,” said a spokesperson in the Chief Minister’s office to NDTV. “It is not really a luxury bus. It doesn’t even have a bed inside. It only has 12 seats for staff from the Chief Minister’s Office to travel with him and hold meetings while on the move,” he said.
The Chief Minister – KCR as he is popularly known- reportedly said he did not want a bedroom onboard, opting instead to use the space for a work area. The bus has easy stair access from within to the roof so the Chief Minister can make public appearances.
“Why can’t he just use the cars he has?” asked Ajay Reddy, a 35-year-old businessman in Hyderabad. “The bus will cause traffic snarls,” he said.
Sheela, a career consultant, said the Chief Minister should use “real” public transport and focus more on improving sanitation to clean up the city.