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Despite the Centre’s ban on the use of red beacons on vehicles, West Bengal PWD Minister Arup Biswas was seen using the red beacon on his vehicle. “Our government has not yet banned red beacon. So we are not bound to follow the other instructions,” ANI quoted Biswas as saying.
The Union Cabinet has disallowed the use of red beacon lights last month with the order to be effective from May 1, 2017. Use of multi-coloured beacon lights that have red, blue and white colours was permitted by the Centre for emergency vehicles, police and law enforcement vehicles and those in service of defence and paramilitary forces.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi had spoken against such use in his Mann ki Baat address too where he had said that the government wants to eradicate the VIP culture from the minds of the people and it wanted to push for EPI (Every Person Important) culture.
The use of the multi-coloured beacons on the exempt vehicles was also not allowed when they were not on designated duty. This was according to the notification issued in pursuance of powers conferred on the Central Government under sub-rule 4 of rule 108 of the Central Motor Vehicles Rules, 1989.
The notification mentioned that each year transport departments in each state and union territory will issue a notice to make the public aware of a list of authorities that will have permission to use the specified vehicles.
The stringent ban extends to union ministers, chief ministers, state cabinet ministers, bureaucrats and judges of the High Court and Supreme Court. The President, Vice President, Prime Minister, Chief Justice of India and the Lok Sabha Speaker are exempted from the restriction.