SHILLONG, April 19: Civil society of Shillong at large has hailed the union cabinet decision to ban use of red beacons by VIPs from May 1, 2017.
Public representatives and political parties of Meghalaya while appreciating this move on Wednesday stressed on the need to keep a close watch on long convoys used by VVIPs when they visit the state and the Northeast.
Congress Minister, Ampareen Lyngdoh said, “I’m good with it because as it is, I travel around in my own private vehicle and I hardly use the official vehicle except when I am in a rush to attend some meetings. Having said that, let us see whether the same order is being followed by the Union Ministers when they visit the Northeast.”
“What’s left to be seen is whether the same Cabinet Ministers will be able to practice what they preach. With the ban in place, law-makers should time themselves, it’s either they reach office early or late owing to the traffic congestions in Shillong city,” she added.
Also welcoming the step, United Democratic Party (UDP) legislator, Paul Lyngdoh said, “I feel that more than the red beacons, it is the long convoys accompanying the Union Ministers when they visit the Northeast that are the problem because it is not the red beacons which attract criticism but rather it is the long convoys owing to the fact that they bring traffic to a halt causing unnecessary harassment to the common man”.
The national president of the National People’s Party (NPP), Conrad Sangma said, “It is a positive step because as it is now, the red beacons have been misused by a lot of people, so it is a good decision. However, I would recommend to exempt state heads like Chief Ministers and Governors from the ban and to keep a cap on certain government officials who misuse the red beacons in the state”.
Meanwhile, the president of the Civil Society Women’s Organization (CSWO), Agnes Kharshiing said, “It is a very good decision which was warranted a long time ago. I am happy because many a time we see that the public servants, government servants give themselves VIP status, but they fail to note that it is the people who should decide. I am sure that many people are happy and hope that in Meghalaya, ministers and bureaucrats follow this order because people are frustrated with VIPs’ high handedness and bossy attitude”.
Also expressing his appreciation to the move, a student, Heiwidon Neville Pde said, “I feel it is a historic move. It is an appreciative move on the part of the Modi-led government”.