Sukhbir’s pet Rs 8.6-cr amphibious bus project sinks
Chandigarh: The Punjab Government has decided to auction former Deputy Chief Minister Sukhbir Badal’s ambitious amphibious bus, calling it “unviable and wasteful”. The bus was procured in 2016 at a cost of Rs 8.6 crore to promote tourism at Harike wetlands, bordering Tarn Taran and Ferozepur districts.Cultural Affairs Minister Navjot Singh Sidhu quoted a Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) report to suggest that the bus operated for only 10 days over one-and-a-half years, generating a meagre Rs 70,600 in revenue.Sidhu wondered whether Sukhbir ever managed his own buses like that. “It is an atrocious waste of public money to satisfy one’s ego.”In a communiqué to the Punjab Heritage and Tourism Promotion Board, CAG termed it “ungainful expenditure of Rs 8.62 crore”, he said. CAG found that the project was “not financially viable” at any stage and it was conceived without preparing any feasibility, execution or financial viability plan.