Written by Smita Nair
| Panjim |

Updated: April 29, 2020 12:41:06 am


coronavirus, coronavirus news, covid 19 tracker, covid 19 india tracker, goa lockdown, goa cruise ship, coronavirus lockdown, goa coronavirus, goa ports seafarers, goa news, latest news A deserted Goa street amid the lockdown. (Express photo: Smita Nair)

On Monday, when Panjim Mayor Uday Madkaikar’s first purchase arrived when shops opened following relaxation in lockdown rules, it triggered a massive outrage. The buy was a Toyota Innova Crysta worth Rs 16.70 lakh,

At a time when the state is staring at a debt-ridden future amid the global pandemic, it was just a matter of time when anger spilled across forums, from citizens, politicians from ruling party and opposition leaders, forcing Madkaikar ro finally make a public apology.

On Tuesday, he told reporters: “I apologise to the people of Panaji. I should not have bought a car in this crisis.”

Speaking to The Indian Express, Madkaikar said the embarrassment was such that he even “tried asking the showroom to take the car back. When they refused, I parked it in my garage and used my old car to travel”.

The Mayor said his old car was seven years old and that a new car was sanctioned to him earlier, he did admit that this was something that “should not have happened when everyone is in lockdown and the situation is different. It’s entirely my fault”.

Earlier this month, the Goa administration had issued a circular upgrading the price bracket of purchase of cars by the chief minister and other official ranks. Sawant had later issued a statement when he said it was an “administrative order” and no one would actually make a purchase. Under the new sanction, a Mayor could purchase a car up to a price maximum bracket of Rs 20 lakh.

“I had made a request for this car last year, sometime in May. It was at that time meant to be within the approved bracket of Rs 14 lakh. That was the sanctioned limit for a Mayor then,” he says. “The file moved for a period and an order was placed. Further, my old car is Innova, a white model which is seven years old. The company informed they had stopped production of this car and their new car base price is at Rs 16.70 lakh. I recently got permission from the government to purchase the new car and I went ahead. Now I understand how it looks.”

Madkaikar has decided not to take his new car out of the garage for now, and continue using the old car.

“I will be using the new car only when the full lockdown is lifted,” he added.

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