Nepal – the country of the Buddha and the Mt. Everest

Peace comes from within. Do not seek it without – Buddha

PM picks Mustang despite security worry

Posted by Ram Kumar Shrestha on August 29, 2011


REPUBLICA

KATHMANDU, August 30: Setting aside advice from security and his aides, newly elected Prime Minister Dr Baburam Bhattarai bucked the general trend of prime ministers and ministers going for expensive, luxurious vehicles and refused to ride any bullet-proof, foreign-made, luxurious vehicle available in the market, chosing instead a comparatively far cheaper, indigenously assembled four-wheeler.

According to Biswadeep Pandey, security had suggested to Dr Bhattarai not to ride the Nepal-assembled Hulas Mustang for security reasons. Even aides including Pandey had suggested he use the Scorpio that he has been riding if he did not want anything expensive or luxurious.

Dr Bhattarai had expressed a wish to ride the Mustang, a product of Biratnagar-based Hulas Motors Company, to officials of the Home Ministry that arranges vehicles for government ministers, when it became certain he was to be elected prime minister Sunday afternoon. The Home Ministry made arrangements accordingly.

“We brought the vehicle to Kathmandu overnight from Biratnagar,” said Diwakar Golchha, a Constituent Assembly member and managing director of Golchha Organization, which owns the company. 

But the vehicle made available by the company is just for temporary use while the car actuallly meant for the prime minister is being put together. The car has been purchased at a price of Rs 1,650,000.

The Mustang used by the prime minister at the moment has a 2,570 cc diesel engine with a mileage of about 11 km per liter. It has minimum luxury and safety features. The vehicle being customized for him has much more luxurious features and will be given away to him about two months from now.

“The vehicle being customized for the PM has additional features like power steering, power windows, comfortable seats, anti-noise flooring system, advanced stereo system and much more,” said Surendra Golchha, managing director of Hulas Motors.

But the vehicle will not have any advanced safety features. Hulas Mustang has had a tough time marketing itself in the Nepali auto market and is not known to many Nepalis.
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The PM´s Mustang parked at Sheetal Niwas attracted politicians who reached there to attend the swearing in ceremony and journalists covering the occasion .

Lawmaker Golchha was busy answering questions about the vehicle from the politicians and journalists.

“I am proud that the prime minister chose this vehicle; it will be a great support to national production,” a cheerful-looking Golcha told journalists, leaning against the prime minister´s vehicle.

Golchha not only thanked the prime minister for choosing the more indigenous vehicle; he also opened its door and ushered the prime minister into it. He then closed the vehicle door before riding away in his own Korean-made Ssyangong Rexton.


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