WITH the Finance Minister Arun Jaitley announcing a ban on the red beacons (lal batti), a number of senior government officials in the city will have to renounce their beacons. Pune Mayor Mukta Tilak said, “I completely agree with PM’s view that the senior government officials are loksevaks who are there for the service of the public. And, thus, none of the government officials should get VIP treatment with red beacon vehicles.”
As per the clause (iii) of the provision to Rule 108 of the Central Motor Vehicles Rules, 1989, some of the Pune officials who are permitted to use red beacon vehicles without a flasher and will be affected with the ban include PMC Commissioner Kunal Kumar, PCMC Commissioner Dinesh Waghmare, Pune Mayor Tilak, Pimpri-Chinchwad Mayor Nitin Kalje and Pune Zilla Parishad chief executive officer Daulat Desai. PCMC Commissioner Waghmare said, “We are yet to receive the orders from the state. Once we get the order, we will implement it.”
A senior Army officer in Pune said, “The cars of high-ranking officers of the three services have red beacon, but at present they are used only in the case when there is some kind of emergency. In other cases, the light is kept covered with cloth. But now when the order completely banning the red light will be received, all the defence establishments will have to follow the guidelines that are issued from the Centre.” District Guardian minister Girish Bapat said he was giving up the official vehicle with red beacon with immediate effect instead of waiting till May 1 as per the Union government’s decision.
“There have been many governments that assured of ending the VVIP culture in the country, but failed to do so. It is only the BJP that can implement the good practice which the Prime Minister Narendra Modi-led government did by taking the decision in the cabinet,” he said. Bapat said it is a responsible job as a minister and not just about moving around in a vehicle with red beacon.