Chennai, Nov 11 (BPNS)
The DMK while in opposition had presented a 97-page report of corruption to the then Tamil Nadu Governor, Bhanwarilal Purohit, against the then transport minister, M.R. Vijayabhaskar of AIADMK for having favoured two companies regarding the purchase of retro-reflective stickers for trucks.
Interestingly after DMK came to power in the state no action has been taken to remove these companies or to allow other companies manufacturing similar products for the purchase of retro-reflective stickers.
The AIADMK government had ordered that the mandatory, retro-reflective stickers for trucks be purchased only from two companies while there were eight companies in the state that manufacture the same type of product. The DMK had then alleged the state transport department led by M.R. Vijayabhaskar was forcing the truck operators to purchase retro-reflective stickers from these two companies only while the six other companies were also approved by the Union government.
The truck owners and the DMK had alleged that these companies were charging Rs 2500 more than what was charged by other companies for retro-reflective stickers. There are 4.5 lakh trucks in Tamil Nadu and the DMK alleged that huge corruption was undertaken by the then transport minister and the AIADMK in the deal.
However, the truck owners association alleged that the DMK has been continuing with the same policy ever since it assumed office and that all the chest-thumping by M.K. Stalin while in opposition has not been implemented in the practical sense.
M. Venkitachalam, President, All India Motor Transport Congress, Tamil Nadu state while speaking to BPNS said, “ The Union ministry for road transport and highways after responding to our pleas had confirmed that stickers bought from any of the authorized companies are valid enough for getting the license but even now after assuming power the DMK government has not done anything to change it.”
Lorry owners said that other than these two companies, the names of other companies do not appear on the website for uploading the photo taken after affixing these stickers. A truck owner who does not want to be named told IANS that each truck owner has to shell out an extra of 2500 rupees for purchasing stickers from these companies and with all the 4.5 lakh trucks to affix these stickers mandatorily to get the road license, huge corruption would have taken place.
While the DMK government had ordered an inquiry of the Directorate of Vigilance and Anti Corruption against former minister and AIADMK leader, M.R.Vijayabhaskar, and raids conducted at several of his premises including residence, the promise made by the DMK while in opposition continues to be not met.
Arunachalam Chettiyar, a truck operator who has a fleet of 12 trucks at Namakkal in Tamil Nadu while speaking to BPNS said, “There is no justification on this and the DMK government must keep its promise made before the elections. These two companies are charging heavily for the stickers and we are losing money unnecessarily. The government must act and prevent such extortion from the public.”