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Tuesday 22 August 2017
News updated at 3:54 AM IST

Equality on road

Nina C George, DH News Service, Apr 21 2017, 0:06 IST

Welcome change

no privileges The decision to take off the red beacon lights from vehicles of government officials has been welcomed by the common man. DH PHOTO

no privileges The decision to take off the red beacon lights from vehicles of government officials has been welcomed by the common man. DH PHOTO

Come May 1, the red beacon lights flaunted by privilege-seeking VIPs will be a thing of the past. The red beacons will now be allowed only for emergency vehicles such as ambulances, fire engines and enforcement agencies.

The landmark announcement has been welcomed by citizens who say that this decision to take off ‘lal battis’ for government officials was long overdue. Citizens feel that using the beacon lights is outright discrimination and apart from ambulances, the red beacon lights on all government vehicles are unnecessary.

Satish Mohapatra, a professional with Tech Mahindra, says, “Having to wait for hours just for some minister or VVIP to pass by is exasperating. It’s not fair to the common man who is stuck in traffic.” He feels that the long convoy trailing the VVIP vehicles should also be pulled out. “The ministers never arrive on time and vehicles are stopped till they pass, which is unfair. This new move will bring some equality on the road,” adds Satish.

Manish Gupta, an employee with Mphasis, points out that this would be an ideal way to clean up the system.

“The government is obligated to the tax payer to use their money judiciously. I hope this brings in a lot of transparency because the government is obliged to work for the people and not be one step ahead of them in terms of treatment,” says Manish. He adds that the removal of red beacon lights will reduce the arrogance prevalent among some government officials. “Now we will not see officials misusing the red lights. This move is a big hit to their ego,” he adds.

Archana K R, who runs her own business, hopes that this would be the first step towards reviewing the other entitlements provided to government officials.

“Power must be vested in the hands of the people. This landmark announcement should be the first step towards checking the misuse of the privileges given to government officials,” says Archana.

This move will surely shift the focus and accord more respect to ambulances and other emergency services, feels Nandita Rao, an employee with TCS.

She says, “When vehicles with beacon lights pass, we are forced to wait. It’s a waste of time. However, people are usually reluctant to let an ambulance pass, and sometimes we even see two-wheeler riders tailgate the ambulance in an effort to get past the signal light. Now, one can expect some change in this behaviour.”

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