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Mumbai mayor’s car continues to have banned red beacon on it

Mayor Vishwanath Mahadeshwar’s current vehicle has a beacon, and the BMC plans to fit one on the new vehicle, despite the central government notification banning it on VIP vehicles

mumbai Updated: Oct 11, 2017 14:38 IST
Kailash Korde
Kailash Korde
Hindustan Times
MUMBAI MAYOR CAR,VIP RED BEACON,VISHWANATH MAHADESHWAR
Mumbai Mayor Vishwanath Mahadeshwar continues to travel in vehicle fitted with the red beacon.(HT File)

The Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC), which recently chose to ignore the Rs 15 lakh ceiling set by the Maharashtra government for the Mumbai’s mayor car and spent Rs 20 lakh on a new one, is also flouting rules by fitting a red beacon on the mayor’s vehicle.

In a bid to end the VIP culture, on May 1, the Union government issued a notification, banning the use of beacons except for emergency vehicles. For the purpose, the government amended the Central Motor Vehicle Act, 1989. The Mumbai municipal corporation, however, has not been following this rule.

Mumbai Mayor Vishwanath Mahadeshwar’s existing vehicle, a Mahindra XUV500, has a beacon on it, and the BMC plans to fit one on the new vehicle as well.

Following the change of rule, five months ago, all ministers in Maharashtra, including transport minister and Shiv Sena leader Diwakar Raote, got the beacons on their official vehicles removed.

Mahadeshwar claimed he was not aware of any change in rule about using the red beacon and passed the buck to the administration. “It is duty of the administration to ensure that no rule is flouted,” he said.

An official from the BMC’s transport department said they were not aware of the amendment in the rules. Besides, he said, the red beacon is never used though it is fitted on the mayor’s car. “We are unaware of the amendment in the rule about use of beacons,” said Anant Bhagwatkar, executive engineer, BMC.

The Tardeo Regional Transport office, where the new car for mayor was registered on October 4, could not be reached for comment, but a senior transport officer said they have written to all government departments about the amendment in the rule on red beacons.

Mahadeshwar’s predecessor Snehal Ambekar, too, did not have the beacon removed from her official car.

First Published: Oct 11, 2017 14:38 IST