India bans use of red beacon lights on cars

On the other hand, emergency vehicles, like ambulance, can continue to use red or blue beacons.

The vehicles with beacon lights, which are seen as a symbol of VIP culture, "have no place in a democratic country", the government said.

However, the red beacons will be allowed only for emergency vehicles and enforcement agencies. "Maintenance of bungalows is a big issue", Gadkari told TOIafter government announced to end the use of beacons by VIPs and dignitaries.

This development comes after newly appointed Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath ordered all his ministerial colleagues and senior officials to shun siren and hooters and red beacons atop vehicles.

The decision is a democratic one, ' adding that "The step is bound to increase faith and respect of the common mass in the Modi government".

However, some politicians didn't wait for the official ban to remove their red beacons.

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"This rule is being changed and once it is changed, only defined emergency services - such as ambulance, fire brigade or police vehicle - will have the provision to install blue beacons", said Jaitley.

Call for the ban gathered widespread support after Delhi's Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal willingly abolished the use of red beacon lights in the federal capital since he took power in 2015. "Its abolition would mean that neither the Centre nor the States would have any dignitary that governments can nominate for the usage of red beacons", Jaitley said.

"From 1 May, no vehicle will have a red light".

Several other high-ranking government officials, including the district collector, have removed the red beacons from their vehicles.

After presiding over the Union Cabinet meeting on Wednesday, Prime Minister Narendra Modi had tweeted, "Every Indian is special". This was one of the first decisions that Captain Amarinder Singh took when he became Punjab Chief Minister last month.

The ban applies to union ministers, chief ministers, state cabinet ministers, bureaucrats and judges of the High Court and Supreme Court. Now, neither in state or centre the government will be able to nominate any members to use the red beacon. The Congress termed the decision "ridiculous" and as a mere "symbolic politics".

  • Ronnie Bowen