Centre bans use of red beacons atop of VIP cars

The decision was taken by Prime Minister Modi, who informed the cabinet about it.

As a result, VIPs or other dignitaries will not be able to use red beacons on their vehicles from May 1, 2017.

Terming the incumbent government as a government of the common masses, Gadkari said, "The decision to abolish the VIP culture of beacon lights and sirens was made with a view to strengthening healthy democratic values in the country".

"And to celebrate such epic step for strengthening our democracy, I have stopped using the RedBeacon atop my vehicle", he said in another tweet.

Jaitley acknowledged that the public debate over the VIP culture and red beacons perceived as a symbol of arrogance of the powerful were the reasons for taking the decision.

Union Minister of Road Transport, Shipping and Highways Nitin Gadkari on Wednesday said that the VIP, VVIP culture will come to an end as the Union Cabinet will soon issue a notification refraining the ministers to use read beacon on their vehicles. The Prime minister has taken a very good decision.

However, fire brigade, ambulance services, police vehicles and other emergency services will be allowed to use the blue beacon, Jaitley said while addressing a press briefing.

Even UP Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath had warned officials about the misuse of red beacons which are causing huge inconvenience to people. The minister got the red beacon removed from his own vehicle too and said that these have no relevance in a democratic country.

In 2013, the Supreme Court dubbed the use of beacons by ministers and government officials "ridiculous and synonymous with power" and said they should be removed immediately.

Reports had it that the proposal to end the use of red beacons had been on the discussion table for more than a year.

"This is a central rule and the government is removing this rule from the rule book".

  • Elsie Buchanan