VIPs not to disrupt traffic in Punjab anymore

VIPs not to disrupt traffic in Punjab anymore

 Punjab has taken a small, albeit noteworthy, step to end “VIP racism” by issuing directions to the police to not halt traffic or commuters on roads in case VIPs are passing by.

Commuters were subjected to high-handedness and gross inconvenience at the hands of the police, who put up barricades to stop the flow of traffic to let VIPs pass with ease. They are often not removed even for ambulances to pass.

Punjab Director General of Police Suresh Arora has now issued directions to end this practice. Sources said deploying scores of policemen all along the designated route will also be restricted.

The police will only be deployed in areas where there are security concerns. However, a lot still depends upon the execution of the orders at the ground level, where are violations are the norm rather than the exception.

Punjab’s latest move to cut down the ‘VIP culture’ comes in the backdrop of a slew of similar initiatives taken by Capt Amarinder Singh-led Congress government in this border state.

District magistrates and district police heads have been directed not to visit venues attended by VIPs, unless the duty has been informed in advance in writing by a competent authority. Last month, the chief minister had ordered that about 400 security personnel engaged in his security be withdrawn. In all, 2,000 security personnel deployed for VIP security were withdrawn from their duty.

Despite this, the Captain has over 1,000 men in his security team. Punjab had been an early bird in doing away with the red beacons atop official vehicles. This move was met with resistance from some of the Captain’s ministerial colleagues and MLAs, who eventually agreed to fall in line. Restrictions were also placed on foreign travels that ministers make, except on occasions when it is required for bilateral arrangements.

Organising banquets on state expense has been disallowed. The government said the practice of putting up names of ministers and MLAs on foundation stones plaques will also be discontinued.

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