CHANDIGARH: Contrary to the decision of the Punjab Cabinet to end VIP culture wherein no ministers or official could use a red beacon atop his or her vehicle, including Chief Minister Capt Amarinder Singh, the State government in an order on Tuesday stated that the official vehicles of the Chief Minister and his council of ministers will have red beacons. It later revoked the order.
The orders issued by the State transport department states that beacon lights atop official vehicles will be prohibited except in the cases of Chief Justice and judges of Punjab and Haryana High Court, Chief Minister and his cabinet ministers. The other vehicles allowed to have beacon lights included those of Fire Brigade, Emergency Services, Hospitals and ambulances.
No officer of the IAS, IPS or state services will be allowed to use amber or blue beacon atop their official vehicle.
Interestingly, the Cabinet had taken a decision in its first meeting on March 18 to do away with beacon lights atop vehicles of elected representatives, which symbolised VIP culture.
Though some dissenting voices were heard initially from within the government, later everyone reluctantly fell in line.
“The red beacons were removed from the vehicles of ministers soon after the cabinet took a decision on the same in its maiden meeting last Saturday,” said an official.
After that the official cars of ministers and officials are without any beacons and only flags.
The pilot and escort vehicles of the ministers have beacons fixed on them.
The State transport department later withdrew the purported order, even as the Chief Minister Capt Amarinder Singh directed the Chief Secretary Karan A Singh to have the correct notification sent to him for immediate approval and issuance.
The manifesto of the Punjab Congress had exempted the Chief Minister and his council of ministers from the proposed ban on red beacons but the CM had voluntarily decided to give up the beacons.