The Maharashtra State Road Transport Corporation (MSRTC) and Brihanmumbai Electric Supply and Transport (BEST) undertaking have removed the beacons atop the vehicles of officials not entitled to use them.
MSRTC removed amber beacons from the official cars of its vice-chairman and managing director Ranjitsingh Deol and financial advisor and chief auditor Eknath More. BEST’s general manager Jagdish Patil also removed the beacon atop his vehicle.
Hindustan Times had, through several reports starting July 12, pointed out how most of the ministers and bureaucrats were flouting beacon rules set up by the government two years ago.
MSRTC sources said after HT’s reports, Deol checked with the rules with the Motor Vehicle Department. He then directed the department concerned to remove the beacons from the cars used by him and his colleagues. “Yes, we have removed beacons from official vehicles,” Deol said. BEST’s public relations officer Hanumant Gophane also confirmed their general manager has stopped using the amber beacon that he used to keep covered. Patil has been given a new vehicle. “The new car does not have a beacon,” he said.
Many state government bureaucrats, however, are still flouting the rules. According to RTO sources, transport minister Diwakar Raote’s personal secretary Sudhir Tungar, who is not even entitled to use a government vehicle, is still using one with a blue beacon.
On the directives of the Apex court in December 2013, the state government pruned the list of posts entitled to use beacons and published a revised list in 2014.
Only top officials above the secretary level in the state government, police officers of and above the rank of inspector general of police and regional commissioners are allowed to use amber beacons without flashers, while top level district officials are entitled to use blue beacons.
In October 2014, the transport commissioner’s office had asked various departments to remove beacons on the vehicles of the officials not entitled to use them. It had also directed all RTOs across the state to take action against the illegal use of beacons.
According to provisions in section 108 of the Central Motor Vehicle Rules (CMVR)-1989, the state government can grant permission to VIP, VVIP and government officials for the use red or amber beacons on official Vehicles.
Transport commissioner Shyam Wardhane could not be reached for the comment.
Meanwhile, MSRTC has bought a new Innova costing around Rs19.90 lakh for Raote, who is also chairman of the state-owned public transport undertaking, according to sources. MSRTC had previously allotted him a Honda City, but he has been using his personal Mercedes Benz registered on his son Umesh’s name. Flouting rules he also put red beacon with flasher on its top, flouting rules.