Officials say as from May 1, no Indian VIPs, including the president and prime minister, will be allowed to use a red beacon on top of their vehicles in order to ease their way through the traffic, officials said Thursday.
The flashing lights have been the bane of commuters who have to wait while the government cars speed ahead, often causing further chaos in India’s already congested cities.
Transport Minister Nitin Gadkari said that Prime Minister Narendra Modi took the decision after a cabinet meeting and is set to apply from May 1.
Beacons would be allowed only for emergency vehicles like ambulances, fire engines and police, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley said after the cabinet meeting.
Jaitley said: “there will be no exception.”
“These beacons are perceived symbols of a VIP culture that have no place in our new India,” Gadkari said. “The lights were often being used as a show-off status symbols.”
“Every Indian is special. Every Indian is a VIP,” Modi posted on microblogging site Twitter.
There are some procedures the government would have to take before the new rules come into effect, including an amendment of the Central Motor Vehicles Rules of 1989, Gadkari said.
Several ministers, including Gadkari, had beacons removed from their official vehicles straight after the cabinet meeting.(dpa/NAN)