Police officials on emergency duty can use a multi-colour light bar, not the blue beacon they have flaunting till now, atop their vehicles, the central government’s final notification ending the VIP ‘lal-neeli batti’ culture made it clear on Tuesday.
The multi-colour light bar (red, blue and white) will be like the one used by police patrol vans.
“If the police officers like the DGP, IGs DIGs, SPs feel that theirs is an emergency duty and they are ready to put up a multi-colour light bar on their vehicles, they are free to do it. The choice is theirs,” Abhay Damle, joint secretary in union ministry of transport, told HT when asked as to which type of police officials would be entitled to use the multi-colour light atop their vehicle. “Our notification is very clear,” he said.
Sources, however, said not many police officers would like to move in a vehicle fitted with a multi-colour light bar.
“They will look like Dial 100 patrol vehicles used by thana- level functionaries and most of us will not like to move in such vehicles,” said a police official.
OTHER EMERGENCY AND DISATER MANAGEMENT DUTIES
Apart from those of the police (for maintenance of and order), other duties that the Central government has declared as emergency disaster management duties are duties by defence or paramilitary forces, work relating to fire and pertaining to management of natural disasters including earthquake, flood, landslide, cyclone, tsunami and manmade disasters including chemical and biological disaster.
“In pursuance of powers conferred under sub-rule 4 of the rule 108 of the Central Motor Vehicles Rules, the Central government hereby specifies that the vehicles on office duty which are designated for the emergency and disaster management duties may be allowed to use multi-coloured red, blue and white light on its top,” says the notification issued by the Union transport ministry on Tuesday.
“The multi-coloured light shall not be put to use when the vehicle is not on the designated duty,” clarified the notification.
EMERGENCY VEHICLES TO DISPLAY STICKERS
As per the notification, every year, the transport department of the state or union territory administration, as the case may be, will issue a public notice bringing to the notice of the general public the list of authorities to whom the permission to use the vehicles for emergency duties has been granted and such vehicles will necessarily display on their windscreen the sticker issued by such transport department. Only one sticker will be issued to the designated officer or for one vehicle at one point of time.
“The sticker shall be on security printed watermark paper and it shall carry hologram as specified by the transport department of the state concerned,” the notification says.
The Modi government at the Centre has done away with the provisions for red beacons by omitting the concerning section in the Central Motor Vehicles Rules and has kept with itself the power to designate a work as emergency/disaster management duty for the purpose of allowing one performing such duties the use of multi-colour light bar. The new rules have become effective from May 1, the international labour day.