Raipur (Chhattisgarh) [India], Apr 19 : The Centre today came up with the decision to end the VIP culture prevalent in India and banned the use of red beacon on vehicles attached to dignitaries, including the central and state ministers.
But what may attract more eyeballs is that Chhattisgarh Chief Minister Raman Singh has been practising the same since the past eight years.
Back in 2009, Raman Singh had decided to take the red beacon off his vehicle. However, he did not impose it on his ministers and left it in on their discretion to choose. Even when the Chhattisgarh Chief Minister goes for inspection of districts, the vehicle for him does not carry red beacon.
In this regard, strict instructions have been given to the district magistrates. Captain Amarinder Singh and Yogi Adityanath, the new chief ministers of Punjab and Uttar Pradesh, have already taken steps to either end or restrict the VIP culture.
However, Raman Singh remains the first Chief Minister to have followed this practice for the last eight years.
The decision taken by the Union Cabinet in this regard will be implemented from May 1. Union Minister for Road, Transport and Highways Nitin Gadkari told ANI in an exclusive conversation today that people of the country used to get angry by the red beacon and the sirens.
"So, we decided in the Cabinet meeting that red beacon will be used only in emergency services like fire brigade, ambulances etc.
A notification in this regard will be issued before May 1," he added. With a view to strengthening healthy democratic values in the country, the Central Government took another historic step today.
The Union Cabinet in its meeting chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi today decided to do away with beacons of all kinds atop all categories of vehicles in the country.
The government is of the considered opinion that beacons on vehicles are perceived symbols of VIP culture and have no place in a democratic country.
They have no relevance whatsoever. Beacons, however, will be allowed on vehicles concerned with emergency and relief services, ambulance, fire service etc.
In the light of this decision, the Ministry of Road Transport and Highways will make necessary provisions in the law.
As per reports, the President of India, the Vice President, the Prime Minister, the Chief Justice of India and the Lok Sabha Speaker will only be allowed to use the red beacon.
It was reported last week that the Prime Minister's Office (PMO) had called a meeting to discuss whether the red beacon should be discarded or restricted to certain dignitaries.