NEW DELHI: HIGHLIGHTS
PM Modi will not use “lal batti” on his cars from May 1, Other ministers, CMs, judges too banned from using “lal batti”. PM Modi, say sources, was emphatic about banning “lal batti culture” Prime Minister Narendra Modi will not use beacons or lalbatti anymore and neither will other ministers. From May 1, officials, ministers, chief ministers and judges are banned from using red flashing lights on their cars. Only emergency vehicles will be allowed to use blue beacons, Union Road Transport Minister Nitin Gadkari said today, removing the lal batti from his own car.
“This government is a government of common masses and has decided to abolish VIP culture of beacon lights and sirens,” Mr Gadkari said after a cabinet meeting.
Later, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley added that no one at the centre or in states can announce any exceptions to the new rule. “Blue lights, used often for the car preceding VIPs, will be allowed only for emergency vehicles,” he said.
In recent meetings, the Prime Minister had reportedly been emphatic about ending ‘lal batti culture’ that has come to symbolize VIP arrogance at the cost of public convenience.
Recently, when he went to the Delhi airport to receive Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, his convoy moved “in normal traffic”, which means no restrictions were in place throughout the route.
Usually, policemen put up barricades and block every route that dignitaries are to take, leaving people waiting interminably for the roads to reopen. The video of an ambulance carrying a wounded child being blocked by policemen because of a visiting dignitary’s convoy in Delhi earlier this month went viral online.
In 2013, a court said the use of beacons should be restricted and only constitutional authorities should be allowed to use it.
The PM reportedly called a meeting last week to discuss how to pare down the use of lal batti cars.
Two newly elected chief ministers – Yogi Adityanath in Uttar Pradesh and Amarinder Singh in Punjab – vowed to stop using beacons.