PM fuses the Lal Battis

From May 1, no VIP, dignitary or official at the Centre and states will be able to use any beacon--red or blue--on their vehicle. There will be no exceptions even for the Prime Minister, President and the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court. Only emergency service vehicles like ambulances, fire brigade and police cars will use blue beacons.

PM Narendra Modi tweeted the decision, noting, “Every Indian is special. Every Indian is a VIP. It should have gone long ago. Glad that today a strong beginning has been made.“ The political message was clear enough that his government has acted where previous ones did not and that the decision was a blow to India's notorious “VIP culture“.  Modi informed the Cabinet of the decision on Wednesday after the PMO held a meeting last week on the options, including doing way with the beacon culture, submitted by road transport minister Nitin Gadkari.

Gadkari termed it a historic decision, saying common people feel bad when their way is blocked for passage of VIP vehicles with red beacons.

The decision comes in the wake of critical observations of the Supreme Court on unfettered use of red beacons and inconvenience caused to the public. The Aam Aadmi Party government in Delhi was the first to withdraw the use of red beacons by ministers. More recently , the Amarinder Singh government in Punjab has done away with red beacons, followed by the Uttar Pradesh government led by Yogi Aditya Nath, which banned hooters on ministerial vehicles.

Soon after the decision was announced, ministers began removing their red beacons.

Another provision which empowers states to “determine and notify“ which vehicles can use blue lights with flasher has also been done away with.

Gadkari said since only a couple of rules would be changed, the decision would be implemented soon.

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