Hindustan Times | New Delhi | November 1,
THE OFFICIAL vehicle of the Delhi Police
commissioner has changed. Nearly two decades after it was first
put to use by the Delhi Police as the commissioner's official
car, the city police has bid goodbye to Contessa.
The commissioner will now be traveling in an Ambassador Grand.
However, in keeping with the tradition, the colour of the new
car is the same as that of the Contessa used by successive
police commissioners: dark blue. The dark blue Contessa, with
three stars on its front, signifying the rank of the officer
sitting inside, had become synonymous with the Delhi Police.
"Everybody in Delhi at that time knew that it is the police
commissioner's car. Even from a distance, people would recognize
who was in the vehicle," remembered M.B. Kaushal, who was the
commissioner in the early 90's. The decision to change the
official vehicle was taken due to a host of reasons. The company
had stopped manufacturing Contessa around four years back.
"The car had a life span of around six years and the one that
was in use till now had been bought in 1998. The reserve
Contessa that we have is a 2000-model but then getting spare
parts was not possible. Also, maintenance and driving the car
itself was a big problem," a senior officer explained. However,
since Delhi Police wanted to carry on with the tradition of the
commissioner's car being dark blue in colour, a special request
was sent to the car's manufacturers, Hindustan Motors.
"Ambassador Grand does not come in this colour and hence a
special request was made," the officer said. The car, the
officer said, is a normal one with no extra features like
bulletproof windows. Only the things otherwise required, like
wireless sets, have been fitted in the car. However, its not yet
all over for the Contessa as far as the Delhi Police is
"The two Contessa cars have been shifted to the security wing of
the Delhi Police. Since, the cars are supposed to be used till
have been driven for a specific number of kilometers, they will
now be used in the security wing," the official said.