Hyderabad: The Chief Minister, Mr N. Kiran Kumar Reddy, has switched over to a new set of sports utility vehicles (SUVs), Tayota Fortuner-500, in place of Scorpios he has been using since he assumed office.
Mr Kiran Kumar Reddy came to the Secretariat on Thursday in a convoy of five dazzling black Tatyota Fortuners. The priests performed pujas to the vehicles at CM’s Camp office this morning before putting them to use in the CM’s convoy. Coconuts were also broken before the vehicles in the Secretariat after they reached C-Block. The CM’s new convoy vehicles no. is AP 11 AD 1818 as all the vehicles in the convoy should have the same number. For security reasons, black vehicles were being used for the convoy of the Chief Minister. All the vehicles in the convoy look alike making it difficult to identify in which vehicle the Chief Minister is travelling. Though six Tayota Fortuner vehicles were purchased for CM’s convoy, five vehicles were put to use today. The sixth vehicle meant to have remote jammer was sent for fixing of the required machinery. Therefore, the Scorpio with remote jammer would continue in the CM’s convoy till the new one takes its place.
Two Tayota Fortuner 500 vehicles meant for the Chief Minister are bullet-proof and heavier than ordinary ones. The Fortuner 500 vehicles have security features of GOA body and SRS Air Bags. The cost of one Tayota Fortuner is nearly Rs 20 lakhs. But the each bullet-proof vehicle costs nearly Rs 36 lakhs. The government purchased six Fortuner vehicles following a decision taken a few months back.
The former chief minister, Mr Nara Chandrababu Naidu used traditional white Ambassador car in his convoy. After becoming Chief Minister in 2004, Dr Y S Rajasekhara Reddy replaced Ambassadors with pearl silver TATA Safari vehicles. After some time, based on the suggestion of the police and keeping in view the security aspects, the TATA Safaris were replaced with black colored Scorpios. Mr Rosaiah also used the same Scorpios after becoming chief minister after sudden demise of YSR in a chopper crash.
Mr Kiran Kumar Reddy, a few days after taking charge as Chief Minister favored to switch over to Toyoto Fotuner 500.