HP governor, Acharya Devvrat, removes red beacon, several to lose privilege soon
A day after the central government banned the use of red, blue and amber beacons atop VIP vehicles, Himachal Pradesh governor Acharya Devvrat removed red beacons from his official vehicles and all other vehicles attached with him. The Raj Bhavan claimed that Devvrat is the first governor in the country to shun the red beacon.india Updated: Apr 21, 2017 10:58 IST
A day after the central government banned the use of red, blue and amber beacons atop VIP vehicles, Himachal Pradesh governor Acharya Devvrat removed red beacons from his official vehicles and all other vehicles attached with him. The Raj Bhavan claimed that Devvrat is the first governor in the country to shun the red beacon.
As a fallout of the Centre’s decision, nearly 500 VIPs in the state are set to lose the sign of privilege. At present the number of VIPs using red beacons in the state is 28, including the governor, chief minister, chief justice of Himachal high court, Lokayukta, 11 ministers, eight high court (HC) judges, chief secretary, chairman of the public service commission, chairman of the state administrative tribunal, consumer dispute redressal commission president and advocate general.
Besides this, deputy commissioners, superintendent of police, ADMs, sub-divisional magistrates (SDMs), mining officials, deputy superintendent of police (DSP), regional transport officer (RTO) and other officials in a district use blue beacons vehicles.
Owing to a Supreme Court order, earlier in 2014, Himachal Pradesh had slashed the number of VIPs using red beacons. Even legislators and political appointees were not allowed to use red beacons but they fought a long battle and ensured amber light atop vehicles to keep the VIP privilege alive.
The Supreme Court, in its December-10 judgment of 2014, had asked the central and state governments to limit the use of flashers and red beacons.
Following the judgment, the state government had set the ball rolling to frame new rules in accordance with the SC directions. In its order, the Supreme Court had also directed that the states and Union Territories cannot increase the scope of high dignitaries beyond the prescribed notifications of January 2002 and July 2005 of the Centre.
Few days ago, state transport minister GS Bali had removed red beacon from his vehicle.
On Thursday, former chief minister Prem Kumar Dhumal, who was in New Delhi, also removed the red beacon atop his vehicle. Shimla legislator Suresh Bhardwaj and state tourism board chairman Vijai Singh Mankotia had shunned amber beacon long ago.