Centre bans use of red beacons atop of VIP cars
New Delhi: From May 1, President Pranab Mukherjee, Vice President Hamid Ansari, Prime Minister Narendra Modi, union ministers, judges, chief ministers will not be allowed to use red beacon lights on their vehicles.
Prime Minister Modi decided to end VIP culture by deciding to strike off the rule that allowed high dignitaries to use red beacons and flashers on their vehicles.
Only defined emergency services such as ambulances, fire brigade and police vehicles will be allowed to use blue beacon lights atop their vehicles,” Finance Minister Arun Jaitley told reporters here after the meeting of the Union Cabinet.
“The Prime Minister took the decision and reported it to the Union Cabinet,” Jaitley said adding that the Road Transport Ministry will make the necessary changes to the Central Motor Vehicle Rules, 1989 to implement the decision from May 1.
Jaitley acknowledged that the public debate over the VIP culture and red beacons perceived as a symbol of arrogance of the powerful were the reasons for taking the decision.
Immediately after the cabinet meeting Road Transport Minister Nitin Gadkari got the red beacon atop is car removed and appealed to his colleagues to follow suit.
Reports had it that the proposal to end the use of red beacons had been on the discussion table for more than a year. Last week, the Prime Minister's Office had deliberated on the issue with officials from the Road Transport Ministry.
“The government is of the considered opinion that beacons on vehicles are perceived symbols of VIP Culture, and have no place in a democratic country. They have no relevance whatsoever.,” an official statement said.
The Aam Aadmi Party was the first elected government to withdraw the use of red beacons by its ministers. More recently Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh had decided to do away with red beacons while Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath had banned use of hooters and sirens by ministers.
Jaitley said to implement the decision the Road Transport Ministry will have to delete Rule 108 (1)(iii) of the Central Motor Vehicle Rules that allow use of red beacons by high dignitaries.