From President and Prime Minister down: lal batti is off

During the Cabinet meeting, Prime Minister Narendra Modi is learnt to have announced that Rule 108 (I) and 108 (II) of the Motor Vehicles Act, which allow central and state governments to permit red beacons for dignitaries, would be scrapped.

Written by Anand Mishra | New Delhi | Updated: April 20, 2017 11:19 am
Red beacon, red beacon ban, lal batti ban, prime minister red beacon car, VIP beacon ban, beacon ban, red Beacon ban India, india news, indian express news, latest news “The government is of the considered opinion that beacons on vehicles are perceived as symbols of VIP culture and have no place in a democratic country,” said the Ministry of Road, Transport and Highways in a statement.

THE UNION Cabinet on Wednesday decided to ban the use of red beacons on all VIP vehicles, including those of the President, Vice-President and Prime Minister, from May 1. Emergency services, like ambulances and fire brigade, will be allowed to use blue beacons. “From May 1, no person in the country will be able to put a red light on their vehicles. There is no exception to this,” said Finance Minister Arun Jaitley, briefing mediapersons after the Cabinet meeting.

“The government is of the considered opinion that beacons on vehicles are perceived as symbols of VIP culture and have no place in a democratic country,” said the Ministry of Road, Transport and Highways in a statement. It hailed the decision as a “historic” step towards strengthening healthy democratic values. “This government is a government of the common masses, and has decided to abolish the VIP culture of beacon lights and sirens,” said Road and Transport Minister Nitin Gadkari.

During the Cabinet meeting, Prime Minister Narendra Modi is learnt to have announced that Rule 108 (I) and 108 (II) of the Motor Vehicles Act, which allow central and state governments to permit red beacons for dignitaries, would be scrapped. Sources said the matter was not listed in the agenda, and Modi made the announcement in the middle of the meeting.

“Every Indian is special. Every Indian is a VIP,” he later tweeted. “It should have gone long ago. Glad that today a strong beginning has been made… these symbols are out of touch with the spirit of new India”. Besides the President, Vice-President and Prime Minister, many other dignitaries like the Lok Sabha Speaker, Chief Justice of India, Governors, Chief Ministers, Chief Justices of High Courts, Supreme Court judges and Leader of Opposition are currently allowed red beacons.

Earlier, the Supreme Court had also asked all state governments to restrict the list of VIPs who are allowed beacons on their vehicles. Some state governments have already barred the use of red beacons. In Punjab, for instance, soon after winning the Assembly polls, Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh decided to remove red beacons from all government vehicles, including those of the chief minister and all ministers.

In Uttar Pradesh too, Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath ordered that no state minister would be allowed to use red beacons on their vehicles. And in Delhi, Chief Minister Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal had said that no state minister or official would use red beacons.

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  1. O
    Observer
    Apr 20, 2017 at 9:13 pm
    Exceptions needed urgently in case of President, PM, CM, Guvnor, Chiefs of 3 Services etc.
    Reply
    1. O
      Observer
      Apr 20, 2017 at 11:54 am
      How about the chief ministers and guvnors also now giving up their discretionary quotas/powers in respect of so many questionable allotments/sanctions? Hope they do so voluntarily and at the very earliest.
      Reply
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        Dr.Damodar Biswal
        Apr 20, 2017 at 11:35 am
        Life time free 1st cl travel of lawmakers in Indian Railways ,free travel by air ,free housing,free telephone n all other freebies should be withdrawn to make our lawmakers SEVAKS of the people who have voted them to power.No other Govt. will touch the lawmakers n will never withdraw benefits enjo by our lawmakers.Modi should do it for the people .He is the only hope.Well done.People of the country will appreciate the gesture.
        Reply
        1. E
          Era
          Apr 21, 2017 at 3:57 pm
          Dear Dr. Biswal ! I read your comments on different Forum too. I do appreciate and like it. While claiming equality for everyone, we forget one of the main reason for many of the problems i.e. Po tion outburst. Issue has been forgotten by our leaders too. Reasons seems to be obvious. Time has come to address this issue now. People are perfectly free to have as many children as they want to have. But there isn’t a God-given right for them to expect everyone else to pay for those children. It isn’t about vilifying those at the bottom of the economic pile. It’s about treating the same as everyone else.
          Reply
          1. E
            Era
            Apr 21, 2017 at 3:58 pm
            Po tion may be read as Po tion
            1. E
              Era
              Apr 21, 2017 at 3:59 pm
              Po tion
              1. E
                Era
                Apr 21, 2017 at 3:59 pm
                Po tion is not printing.
                1. E
                  Era
                  Apr 21, 2017 at 4:00 pm
                  po pu la tion
              2. T
                T DUTTA
                Apr 20, 2017 at 11:17 am
                SOME MORE EXCELLENT DECISIONS ARE NECESSARY
                Reply
                1. T
                  T DUTTA
                  Apr 20, 2017 at 11:15 am
                  some persons are IMMUNE from criminal proceedings----------LIKE ABOLITION OF RED BEACONS THERE MUST BE ABOLITION OF CRIMINAL IMMUNITY[this a general comment--not directed against anyone in particular]----------
                  Reply
                  1. V
                    Valentin C
                    Apr 20, 2017 at 10:27 am
                    Good move. It appears that the move in this direction was made more than a year ago and has come to fruition only now. Instead of carping on the "credit" of who did it first, let us appreciate all those who voluntarily gave up the lal batti: Kerjriwal, Amrinder Singh, Adithyanath and now the Central Government. It was becoming a status symbol. Of course, it depends on how you look at it. I always equated red beacons with ambulances, blue with the blue cross vehicles carrying animals. And it used to amuse me to no end that the people using it thought that the beacons were always symbols of power.
                    Reply
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                      Common Man
                      Apr 20, 2017 at 10:26 am
                      Airports have VIP section where bureaucrats (public servant) lounge. Similarly, almost all places including temples have VIP sections, queues etc. All these should be s ped. ONLY cons utional authorities can have some special privileges and in NO CASE A bureaucrat should be allowed to use such facilities
                      Reply
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                        Joydeep
                        Apr 20, 2017 at 10:22 am
                        What is the point? Will police stop the practice of clearing the roads for the so called VIPs and make common people wait? Will they be able to use purple and yellow beacons now? What about the big board they put in front that says ..Govt of .....Will this practice also stop? If not, this is only a gimmick to fool the people.
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                          Dr.Damodar Biswal
                          Apr 20, 2017 at 11:36 am
                          Beginning of the end of VIP culture,sir.
                          Reply
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