New Delhi: Come May 1 and there will be no lal batti cars on Indian roads. Even the vehicles of the President and Prime Minister cannot flaunt the red beacons.
Seeking to end the VVIP culture, the Union Cabinet on Wednesday decided that beacon lights will be removed from all vehicles, except emergency vehicles, like ambulances and fire brigade. They, too, will be fitted with blue, and not red, beacons.
“After May 1, no one will be able to put red light atop his/her vehicle. Blue light will be used only for emergency vehicles…Neither the states nor the Centre will have power to give any special permission (for use of beacon lights),” Finance Minister Arun Jaitley said after the Cabinet meeting.
Jaitley said the use of red beacons atop vehicles has been a matter of discussion and debates for long. The matter was under discussion for some time and “the PM took the decision and informed the Cabinet”, Jaitley said, adding amendments will be made soon in the Central Motor Vehicles Rules to give effect to the decision.
Nitin Gadkari was the first Union Minister who took the red beacon off his official vehicle immediately after the Cabinet meeting. “This government is a government of the masses and has decided to abolish VIP culture of beacon lights and sirens,” he said.
Fadnavis tears down his car’s red beacon
Soon after the Union Cabinet decision on lal battis, chief minister Devendra Fadnavis removed the red beacon atop his official car. Other ministers of his government followed suit, so from Thursday, there should be lesser number of cars flashing red light on the roads of Mumbai.
“Maharashtra welcomes Narendra Modi’s step towards ending VVIP culture by stopping the use of red beacons,” Fadnavis said