The decision on whether the VIP red beacon should be discarded or restricted to certain dignitaries is likely to come soon.
According to a Times of India report, the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) has called a meeting this week on this politically sensitive issue.
The report cited sources saying that the proposal to do away with the culture of red beacon use on vehicles attached to dignitaries will be high on the agenda of the meeting.
The road transport ministry had presented three options to PMO after holding consultations with senior Cabinet ministers and one of them is to end the us of red beacons.
Another option is to restrict the number of dignitaries entitled for red beacon to only five constitutional authorities – the President, Vice-President, Prime Minister, Chief Justice of the Supreme Court and Speaker of Lok Sabha.
The proposal, however, has been pending for more than one-and-a-half years. During this period, states were asked to submit the details of persons entitles to have red beacon on their vehicles.
The meeting, likely to be held this week, holds significance as the newly formed governments in Punjab and Uttar Pradesh, led by Captain Amarinder Singh and Yogi Adityanath respectively, have already taken steps to either end or restrict the VIP culture.
While Amarinder Singh has completely done away with red beacons, Yogi Adityanath has stopped the use of hooters and has said that the use of the red light on government vehicles should be used very cautiously.
The Arvind Kerjiwal-led Aam Aadmi Party government in Delhi was the first one to withdraw the use of red beacons by ministers.
“This decision has to be taken at the highest level. In all probability enforcement agencies will be allowed to have them considering their nature of work,” a government source was quoted by Times of India as saying.
As per norms, red beacons are allowed on vehicles of 32 Cabinet ministers and a few others, who are in the rank and status of a Cabinet minister. The number of such dignitaries is much more in states.