CAG punches holes in Defence purchase, says vehicles 'unsuitable'

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New Delhi, Oct 23 (UNI) Punching holes in the government's claim of 'getting the best' for the country, the Comptroller and Auditor General in its report on purchase of bulletproof vehicles for the Army has found several defects in them and termed them ''unsuitable for cross country movement''.

Pointing out that the vehicles were heavier than the engines designed for having lower pulling power, the report said its other defects were not just affecting the vehicles' ability to negotiate steep gradients, but also having problems in negotiating turns in mountainous terrain.

''Overheating of tyres and losing advantage of bulletproof glass since adjustment of rear view mirror was possible only by opening the doors, were its other drawbacks,'' said the CAG in its Defence Services report.

The Army, indicating a high-level of terrorist threat to its senior Commanders, had purchased nine Bullet Proof Scorpio vehicles in February 2007 from M/s Mahindra Defence System.

The defects reported earlier in these vehicles, however, have been rectified by the Original Equipment Manufacturer and no further defects have been reported, Defence Minister A K Antony told the Rajya Sabha in a written reply to a query by Dara Singh.

UNI AN BDP ATI DS1115

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