PU Vice-Chancellor put to 'green test' by former student
Krishna Kumar VR | 11 Aug 2009

VC readies to buy swanky official Corolla car, RTI activists question his green credentials

August 7, 2009
The Vice-Chancellor of Panjab University has been put to ‘green test’, as a former PU student filed an RTI application today, seeking details of the money spent by the VC’s vehicles on fuels during the last three years, and the number of vehicles and drivers attached to his office and residence.
Professor RC Sobti, Vice-Chancellor of Panjab University, known for his environmental drives, with media in the toe, to make the university campus pollution-free by introducing no-vehicle days, is all set to buy a new official swanky Toyota Corolla car; costing the exchequer additional burden of nearly Rs 12 lakh.
The VC often appears in the news riding a bicycle on the campus. He has also been seen on the campus distributing green cards to the cyclists as mark of honour for following his ‘green command’. 
“The VC likes to talk green before the media and the students. I was shocked to hear him buying an expensive Toyota Corolla with public money. I filed the RTI application to expose the gap between his words and deeds,” said the RTI applicant, Mr Krishna Kumar. “The current red-beaconed white Ambassador car of VC is reportedly in good working condition.”
The RTI application has sought information on the vehicles bought for the Vice-Chancellor of Panjab University in the last three years and information on the proposed new vehicle for the Vice-Chancellor.
“There is a contradiction in the VC’s statements,” said Roshan Lal, a third-year Laws student at PU. “The student community expects that before he sits in his new expensive car, the VC should withdraw his earlier statements with due apology that he had got carried away in his green mission earlier.”
Student community and the academia in the university say that the VC has no business outside the campus and buying this expensive car comes as a surprise. “I don’t see much use of a car when the VC’s official residence is just at a walking distance from his office,” said Dr. Manpreet Singh. “I fail to see any logic in buying such an expensive vehicle.”
Mr Kumar has also sought information on the maintenance amount spent on vehicles attached to the office and residence of the PU’s Vice-Chancellor during the last three years.
To further assess the VC’s green credentials, the RTI application has sought information on the number of new air-conditioners bought at the VC’s office and residence in the last three years. Details of air-conditioners maintenance charges and month-wise details of electricity bills for the last three years have been sought.