Citizens expressed anger, the Opposition demanded action, while experts suggested corrective steps, as Hindustan Times on July 12 reported how Maharashtra ministers, including chief minister and transport minister, were flouting rules on the use of red beacons.
The motor vehicle department, headed by transport commissioner Shyam Vardhane, which is responsible for enforcing the rules, failed to take action against the transport minister or other high-profile ministers in the Fadnavis government.
The use of red or amber or blue light is allowed only on official vehicles, with the transport commissioner’s sanction in the form of sticker on the windscreen.
“Why do they need to show they are different,” asked Vasai resident Chinmay Gavankar, an IT professional.
“Such careless act was unexpected from ministers, who are supposed to follow the rules,” said Sachin Sawant, spokesperson of Maharashtra Congress.
NCP spokesperson Clyde Crasto said ministers are not above the law. “The government should take necessary action for against violators,” said Crasto.
Nitin Sardesai, former MLA of the MNS, said, “If they want beacons on their personal cars, they should first change the rules, instead of violating them.”
AV Shenoy, transport activist, said ministers should set an example by following the rules. “If they start flouting rules, the government will have no right to penalise people for a similar offence,” he said.
Transport expert Ashok Datar, there is a need to increase the penalty for violation of rules. “The state authorities should increase the penalty, which is currently Rs100, to at least Rs5,000-Rs10,000,” said Datar.
A senior official of Motor Vehicle Department, said after HT report, they received several phone calls from several ministers’ offices asking about the rules.
Transport commissioner Shaym Vardhane said he has asked the joint transport commissioner to give the file on beacons and will react after going through it.