Newly-elected mayor Snehal Ambekar courted controversy on the first day of assuming office, as she refused to remove beacon light from her official car.
According to the recent state government’s list, a mayor is not entitled to use beacon light on the official car. While earlier, former mayor Sunil Prabhu had refused to remove the light and had instead written to the chief minister asking him to include mayor on the list as it is their “traditional right”, Ambekar, too, seems to be following the tradition.
Maharashtra government’s list had come following a Supreme Court order in December 2013, that criticized the rampant misuse of beacon lights by those in power and directed the authorities to ensure that even those holding constitutional positions used beacons on vehicles only when they are on duty.
Ambekar said, “There is nothing wrong in keeping the red beacon light on the car. When the chief minister can have it, why can’t the mayor? The mayor is the first citizen of the city, who welcomes foreign dignitaries and holds a legislative position.”
The Opposition parties, however, objected to the violation. “The civic body functions under the state government, so the mayor must obey the rules made by the government. Mayors should make logical decisions for the city’s betterment, and not just flaunt the post,” said Dhananjay Pisal, NCP leader.
Opposition leader in the house, Devendra Amberkar, said, “The Supreme Court has asked for restriction on rampant misuse of beacons by those in power. If she wants the light on her vehicles, she should approach the Supreme Court.”