Instances of misuse of red beacon and siren in vehicles in the State are increasing forcing a social activist to write to Chief Secretary Donald P. Wahlang to demand strict action by the authorities to check such misuse and also to put a stop to VIP culture in the State.
Kingstone Bolwari in his letter to the Chief Secretary said that the State government through the Principal Secretary, Transport Department had issued a notification vide NO.TPT/6/2013/137 dated March 7, 2014 in compliance with order passed by the Supreme Court on December 10, 2013 which specified that red beacon can only be fitted on the rooftop of 17 categories of vehicles of dignitaries.
The notification said that red beacon can be fitted in the official cars of the Governor, Chief Minister, former Governor, Deputy Chief Ministers, Chief Justice of Meghalaya High Court, Speaker of Meghalaya Legislative Assembly, State Cabinet Minister, Planning Board Chairman, former Chief Minister, Leader of Opposition in Meghalaya Legislative Assembly, Judges of Meghalaya High Court, Deputy Speaker of Meghalaya Legislative Assembly, Ministers of State, Deputy Ministers of Meghalaya, Chief Secretary, Advocate General, and Chairman, Meghalaya Public Service Commission.
“It is that this order of the Supreme Court and the notification dated March 7, 2014 issued by Principal Secretary to the Transport Department are crystal clear that only the VIP and the dignitaries who were authorised are entitled to avail the red-light beacon and siren while travelling and no other bureaucrats, government authorities, individuals are permitted to enjoy and used the beacon light and siren while flying on the public road,” Bolwari said.
According to him, the notification also clearly stated that in case the vehicle fitted with red light on top front is not carrying the dignitaries, then such red light shall not be used and shall be covered by a black cover.
The notification also clearly mentioned that “all other unauthorised persons using such red light in their vehicles shall be liable to be prosecuted as per provision of law”, Bolwari added.
The social activist has urged the Chief Secretary to issue necessary instruction to all the concerned department, authorities and Police Department to check any unauthorised misuse of such red light and siren in the public road so as to avoid the traffic congestion and inconvenience created to the citizen at large due to misuse of the red light and siren by an unauthorised person and to take strong action against such individuals for violation of the order of the Supreme Court and the subsequent notification issued by the Principal Secretary, Transport Department.
“The practice of VIP culture should be discouraged in the State and more importantly to safeguard and protect Article 141 of the Constitution for the interest of the citizens as a whole,” Bolwari said.