Telangana govt 'gifts' 32 Carnival MPVs to IAS officers, raises big controversy
The Telangana government has gifted 32 Kia Carnival MPVs to its additional district collectors on Sunday. The Carnival MPVs, all white in colour, were flagged off on Sunday during an event but the purchase decision itself has led to a political controversy in the state.
The price of a Kia Carnival MPV in India begins at ₹24.95 lakh (ex-showroom) and is offered in five variants across three trims. The top-spec Limousine 7VIP variant costs ₹33.95 lakh (ex-showroom).
The Kia Carnival MPVs were seen lined up on the premises of Pragati Bhavan on Sunday before they were flagged off by transport minister Puvvada Ajay Kumar. “The vehicles, each costing around ₹30 lakh, were procured by the Telangana State Road Transport Authority on the instructions of the chief minister. The vehicles would help the additional collectors in carrying out extensive tours to the villages as part of their duty," an official in the transport department said.
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The vehicles have been provided to the additional district collectors to help them visit their respective areas to monitor development work. Chief Minister K Chandrashekhar Rao said the additional collectors required these luxury cars to travel the respective districts to discharge their duties. Opposition parties, however, have slammed the decision and have alleged that at a time when state exchequer in a bad shape, the purchase was unnecessary.
Kia has recently launched a scheme where customers can return the MPV within the first 30 days of purchase for a 95 percent refund of the total cost. Called Satisfaction Guarantee Scheme, Kia India says it is a different way in which it seeks to connect with buyers.
Kia showcased the Carnival MPV for the first time in India during the Auto Expo held in 2020. Carnival MPV is Kia's second offering in India, after the Seltos SUV, and was seen as a luxury MPV. Powered by a 2.2-litre diesel engine under the hood, the Kia Carnival MPV offers multiple seating configurations of seven, eight and even nine.