In a historic decision, the Narendra Modi-led government on Wednesday decided to do away with the VIP culture with effect from 1 May. Thus there would be no beacons of any kind atop all categories of vehicles in the country, with exception of ambulances and relief services.
The decision to this effect was taken by the Union Cabinet chaired by PM Modi, which, according to the government, will strengthen “healthy democratic values”. As per the decision, official vehicles of even President, Prime Ministers and Union Ministers would not flaunt red beacons.
Finance Minister Arun Jaitley said the government would bring about necessary amendment to the Central Motor Vehicle Rules, 1989, in this regard. He said it means that no dignitary at the Centre or in states could henceforth use beacons on their vehicles. Jaitley said a rule that empowers the Centre and state governments to use blue beacons with flasher is also being changed.
The minister said a rule that empowers the Centre and state governments to use blue beacons with flasher is also being changed. "Only defined emergency services will be allowed to use blue beacons with flasher," Jaitley said. The decision also intends to strengthen democratic values in the country, he said.
A statement issued by the government said it 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, it added.
“Blue beacons, however, will be allowed on vehicles concerned with emergency and relief services, ambulances, fire services etc. In the light of this decision, the Ministry of Road Transport & Highways will make necessary provisions in the law,” the statement said.