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Lights out for beacon-loving VVIPs

Dignitaries will now be able to flash red beacons only on one vehicle of their choice, with stickers describing their details

Very soon, politicians, bureaucrats and other VIPs won't be able to flash the red beacons as per their will.
The Central government has asked all state governments, including Delhi government, to not allow more than one red beacon to dignitaries. It has asked states to issue stickers by respective transport departments detailing name of the dignitary, his vehicle number and name of the issuing authority, which they will have to paste on the said vehicle. The report was confirmed by a senior transport department official.


Quite a line-up: Vehicles of newly-elected ministers in Delhi government
on the first day of monsoon session at Vidhansabha in the Capital. FIle pic


"The letter further states that the dignitary be allowed to install the beacon on the vehicle of his choice: either official or private. And it is ensured that the vehicle owner paste it on the front-side of the vehicle. However, it does not clarify what should be done in the case of ministers, chief minister and lieutenant governor as they may need more than one beacon," the official added.

The letter trashed hopes of Delhi revenue department officials who wanted to install beacons on their vehicles. But more than that, the new rule may face opposition from chief ministers of states, LGs and ministers, as many of them use red beacon on several vehicles. Commissioner, transport, Delhi government, R Chandra Mohan could not be contacted despite many attempts. But chief secretary, PK Tripathi said it was 'illogical'.

"I don't remember receiving any such letter. But if its true, then I would say the plan is illogical. What if there is a breakdown in the case of a VVIP vehicle," he said. On the other hand, joint commissioner of police, traffic, Satyendra Garg said, "If such a decision has been taken, it is very good. It will help us in stopping misuse of red beacons," he said.

He said the idea of authorisation of use of red beacon by some competent authority and one dignitary-one beacon was recommended to the Centre by a committee of the transport department of Delhi, wherein, Delhi joint commissioner of police was also a member. "We had recommended it in 2009. It is very good and will help us in curbing misuse of red beacons," he added.

MPs' sad story
Earlier this month, over a hundred MPs have demanded that they be allowed to use red beacon-fitted vehicles across the country. They said as per the present order of preference, many officers at state and central levels were above them in protocol. Many states have allowed even the MLAs the right to use beacon-fitted vehicles, the MPs lamented. The MPs also demanded toll-free transit through the national highways. Recently, Delhi government revenue department officials in a letter had demanded they be allowed to use beacons. They had said not having a beacon may affect their work.

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