New Delhi: Red beacons have been banned from official cars and the same fate awaits blue beacons too. The Narendra Modi-led government on Wednesday (April 19) issued an order to remove red beacons on vehicles attached to officials’ cars by May 1 as a step towards ending the VIP culture prevalent in India. Thereafter, a draft notification has been issued by the Ministry of Road Transport that applies to vehicles escorting the main red-beacon sporting official cars, reports The Times of India. Avoid penal action, the order has to be followed by all concerned.
Before the order by the ministry, states had the authority to specify such norms and the vehicles that they covered. However, with the draft issued, which has been put out to invite public suggestions, the power to notify the vehicles meant for emergency services like disaster management and others that can use multi-coloured beacons will now vest with the Central government, The Times of India reports. As per the draft, people have been given the opportunity to submit their suggestions by the ministry. In usual cases, it provides 15 days or a month’s time for such process but as the Centre’s order with regard to beacons is meant to applicable from May 1, it has given only 10 days to the public.
Road transport minister Nitin Gadkari said that the move will end rampant misuse of beacons. Times of India quoted Gadkari as saying that once the new rules are applicable, anyone using the beacon, except for specified categories, will face the consequences. Only President, Prime Minister, Vice-President, Chief Justice of India and the Lok Sabha speaker will be allowed to use the red beacons after the decision is implemented.
Meanwhile, the order again sparked political arguments in country. Arvind Kejriwal-led Aam Aadmi Party has reportedly taken credit for the decision and said it was “inspired” by its ministers who do not use the facility, news agency PTI reported. Congress said the decision was not taken after careful consideration, ANI reported. It argued that the important functionaries of the government need certain privileges in an emergency situation.