Lucknow: There has been an increase in the number of vehicles fitted with red or blue beacons and hooters. All of a sudden the city is abuzz with the blaring sounds of the horns and the interruptive lights of cars demanding the right of way eve if illegally.
The administration awakens at times and puts an end to all the bullying by powerful elements who claim that they are close to some high-profile person. However, that comes only rarely and since there is no strict punishment, the noise and the lights come back on the road to hamper the peace of the common man.
The traffic police know very well the people who resort to such banned practices but they remain silent until they receive orders from the top.
That top is the general administration which becomes active only when the elections are near.
Those eligible to use the red beacons on their official vehicles in the state of UP include the Governor, the Chief Minister, former chief minister, the speaker of the state assembly, the chairman of the state assembly, the chief justice of the Allahabad High Court, former chief justice, Lokayukta, minister or an equivalent, leader of the opposition, the head and members of the state human rights commission.
Those eligible to use blue beacons in the state include the commissioners of various departments, the Inspector Generals of the states, the District Magistrates and those holding a magisterial positions and the police officials above the position of a CO.
In accordance of powers under clause (iii) of proviso to rule 108 of the Central Motor Vehicles Rules 1989, the Central Government has specified what a vehicle carrying a specified dignitary shall be permitted to use. The three types of lights specified under law are Red, Amber and Blue beacon.
A red beacon with flasher can be used only by the President of India, the Vice-President, the Prime Minister, the former President, the Deputy Prime Minister, the Chief Justice of India, the Speaker of the Lok Sabha, the Cabinet Ministers of the Union, the Deputy Chairman of the Planning Commission, former Prime Ministers, Leaders of the opposition in the Rajya Sabha and Lok Sabha, the Judges of the Supreme Court, the Chief Justices of High Courts within and outside their respective jurisdictions, Justices of High Courts within their respective jurisdictions, Governors of States within and outside their respective States, Chief Ministers of States within and outside their respective States, Cabinet Ministers of states within their respective States, Chairman of Committees of Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha, Leaders of the Opposition of the State Legislative Assembly and Legialative Council in their respective States, Chairman of the Committees of State Legislative Assembly and Legislative Council in their respective States, Chairman of the Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes Commission, Chairman of all National Commissions of the Union, Ambassadors Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary and High Commissioners of Commonwealth Countries accredited to India.
Those who can use a red beacon without flasher include the Chief Election Commissioner, the Comptroller and Auditor General of India, the Deputy Chairman of Rajya Sabha, the Deputy Speaker of the Lok Sabha, the Ministers of the State of the Union, the Members of the Planning Commission, all Secretary Rank Officers, the CBDT chairman, the Attorney General of India, the Cabinet Secretary, the Chiefs of Staff of the three services holding the rank of full General or equivalent rank, the Deputy Ministers of the Union, the Officiating Chiefs of Staff of the three services holding the rank of Lt. General or equivalent rank, the Chairman of the Central Administrative Tribunal, the Chairman of the Minorities Commission, the Chief Commissioner of Income-tax, the Chairman of the Union Public Services Commission, the Deputy Chief Ministers of States, the Ministers of States of the States within their respective States and Envoys Extraordinary and Ministers Plenipotentiary accredited to India.
Those using amber beacon include Revenue commissioners, the District Collectors, the Police Commissioners (junior ranks), the Police Superintendent, the Commissioners and Additional Commissioners of Income Tax and the Fire brigade vehicles.
Those who can use blue beacons include the Ambulances and police vehicles
The manner in which all norms are being flouted poses a security threat to not just the city of Lucknow but the state as well. Due to the acts of some people who are breaking law by misusing rights reserved for some specific persons, a moral code of ethics is being thrown to the dogs. What is more disappointing is the fact that such illegal acts are done in a brazen way which sheds poor light on the image of the administration.
We have told you who is eligible to use the beacons and who are actually using it. It has to be seen if any action is taken on the defaulters.