FLOODED WITH requests from various government departments to allow their officials to fit designation plates on their vehicles, the transport department has sent three alternative proposals for the government’s consideration.
The government, which is examining the proposals, is expected to amend the rules soon to authorise certain officers and other dignitaries to use designation plates on their vehicles. The first proposal suggests that designation plates be allowed to be displayed on all those vehicles which are already authorised under the rules to use red/blue beacons.
The second proposal suggests that all Class-I officers be allowed to use designation plates on their vehicles. The third and last alterative proposal suggests that all the gazetted officers be authorised to use designation plates.
“We have sent the three proposals to Principal Secretary, Transport,” said Transport Commissioner, RP Shukla, adding, “Now it is for the government to amend and form the rules accordingly”.
However, of the three proposals, the first one (designation plates to all the vehicles authorised to use red/blue beacons) is being considered to be the most practical. It is argued that if a vehicle is fitted with a beacon but does not have a designation plate, it becomes difficult to know if that vehicle is authorised to use a beacon at all or not. Moreover, this proposal will also cover all those politicians and people’s representatives who can already use a red beacon.
In fact, ever since the transport department started removing designation plates from vehicles on the directives of the High Court last month, most of the officials are desperate to come out of the ‘identity crisis’. The High Court held that the existing rules did not provide for designation plates but said that the State government could amend the rules to authorise certain people to have designation plates on their vehicles.
No wonder that the officers of various government departments, including transport, are pressing the government to authorise them to have a designation plate on their vehicle. Among other departments trying in this regard are the police, the excise and the entertainment.
IG (Traffic) Brij Lal, who is also IG (Law and Order), has already written to the home department as well as the transport department requesting that police officers be authorised to have a designation plate on their official vehicles.
Sources said that even the Chief Secretary had told the transport department officials that at least he be allowed to use a designation plate.
However, the risk, a senior officer said, was that if the rules were amended to authorise certain officers and politicians to use a designation plate, the practice of unauthorised use would become common like in the case of beacons and as difficult to contain.