The COVID-19 pandemic has wreaked havoc on many countries and has affected the economy greatly. Even India has been affected due to the lockdown to halt the spread of the virus and the government has lost a major chunk of revenue due to this. This pandemic has also affected the individuals and their future plans as many companies have shut down or have cut the salaries of their employees. After President of India – Ramnath Kovid announced an austerity drive earlier this and put his car upgrade on hold indefinitely citing the COVID-19, Maharashtra governed has announced a similar update.
Bhagat Singh Koshyari, the governor of Maharashtra has announced a series of measures to reduce expenses of Raj Bhavan. The austerity drive consists of measures like no new major construction or repairing works in Raj Bhavan, no new regular recruitment, the practice of offering gifts/mementoes to VVIPs to be discontinued until further orders and many such actions will be taken. One of the measures also says that the governor will not upgrade the official vehicle. We are not sure when the governor was expected to upgrade the current vehicle.
At present, the official car of the Maharashtra Governor is a Mercedes-Benz E-Class E350 CDI. The vehicle was purchased in 2014 according to the registration details. This is not the official E-Class Guard, which comes with armour installed from the factory. Instead, the bulletproof armouring in the car has been installed after a later date. Nonetheless, the last governor of Maharashtra used the same car and now the current governor, who was elected to the post in September 2019 will continue to use the same vehicle till further notice.
It is not known which car the governor was planning to get but according to rules, the Maharashtra Chief Minister, Governor, Deputy CM, Chief Justice and Lokayukta can spend as much as they want on the car of their choice. There is no monetary limit on their vehicles. The current official car used by the governer was registered in 2014 and was inducted into service sometime later after it was armoured.
The Mercedes-Benz E-Class is the best-selling luxury vehicle in India and it has been around for years now. The sedan offers ample space and a long list of features that make it a popular choice for government officials, industrialists and even celebrities. The car is built to last a lifetime. The exact cost of the car is not known since a lot of money can be spent to make it bulletproof but the price started at around Rs 60 lakhs. With armour, it must have cost close to Rs 1 crore.