Lok Sabha Secretary D. Bhalla also said that it was up to the Delhi government to decide if MPs should be exempted from the scheme when they attended parliament in “national interest”.
“The MPs have never refused to follow odd-even. The question is whether MPs are required for national duty. It is for the Delhi government to decide if it is an essential duty which should be exemp5ted from the scheme,” Bhalla told reporters.
He said there were 25 vehicles with Parliament to ferry MPs from their residence to Parliament House and vice versa.
Of these, 10 belonged to the Lok Sabha and eight to the Rajya Sabha while seven were from Delhi Transport Corp (DTC).
However, with the odd-even scheme in place, on even dates only 13 vehicles and on odd dates only 12 vehicles were available to ferry MPs.
Besides, nine vehicles had been hired from India Tourism Development Corp.
Bhalla said six low floor DTC buses arranged by the Delhi government to transport MPs were returned after the first day of parliament session and the Secretariat paid Rs.12,000 for their hire.
They “were not useful due to some reasons. Immediately, nine AC vehicles were hired from ITDC. Further, 10 vehicles have been arranged from the parliament security service to ensure the smooth transport of MPs,” said a statement from Lok Sabha Secretariat.
“The bus was not a viable option because it could not enter parliament complex,” Bhalla said. “We have not had any complains from the MPs so far.
The Secretariat has empowered officials to take immediate decision on hiring vehicles for MPs without any prior approval.
MPs want to be exempted from the odd-even scheme, saying they had parliament vehicle pass for only one vehicle and alleged that the scheme hurt them.
Bhalla said while the Rajya Sabha Secretariat had been giving two passes to each MP, the Lok Sabha Secretariat gave only one pass to restrict the number of vehicles inside Parliament.
He said the request of the MPs was under consideration.