Chief minister Hemant Soren has banned the use of hooters and sirens in cars used by ministers and government officials in urban areas, a move that smacks of being inspired by Delhi chief minister and toast of the nation Arvind Kejriwal.
Hemant’s decision, sure to be welcomed by all those who have silently suffered blaring sirens as ministers’ cavalcades passed through neighbourhoods, was taken on Friday after a high-level meeting with chief secretary R.S. Sharma and DGP Rajeev Kumar.
While no mention was made on the use of beacons, Hemant’s directive, as of now, would be limited to the use of sirens and hooters in all cities and towns, including the state capital.
“Ministers and bureaucrats should be sensitive towards the needs of the common masses who face regular problems due to long cavalcades,” Hemant told The Telegraph, adding that he had also instructed the administration not to line up too many security personnel along roads frequently used by VVIPs.
Chief secretary Sharma stressed that Friday’s decision was as per law.
“In the government’s understanding, at least ministers and bureaucrats are not entitled to sirens and hooters,” said Sharma, who along with agriculture secretary Nitin Madan Kulkarni, was among the first officials to give up the beacons on their official cars ever since Supreme Court ruled that such privileges should only be for those holding constitutional posts.
Sharma, however, clarified that he had already asked the home and transport departments to look into the details of beacon use in the light of the Supreme Court directive.
“We will be bringing out a comprehensive circular on the use of beacon lights in the near future. Thereafter, we will enforce the law in letter and spirit,” he said.