| Mayor Afzal Imam’s official vehicle. Picture by Ranjeet Kumar Dey |
Roll down the car glass, it’s the mayor behind the veil.
Patna mayor or the first citizen of the city, Afzal Imam, is violating a blanket ban imposed on pasting coloured films on factory-made glasses of car windows by Supreme Court in 2012.
He has recently put “almost opaque” films on the window glasses of his official SUV.
On the reason behind using tinted glasses on his car windows, he said: “A name plate with mayor written on it is affixed in front of my SUV. Thus, it is not an unknown vehicle that can be misused.”
Rule 100(2) of Central Motor Vehicles Rules, 1989, states that visual transmission of light should not be less than 70 per cent in the windscreen and rear window and not less than 50 per cent in side windows. The specification of glass should conform to Indian standards [IS: 2553 - part 2 - 1992]. The front windscreen shall be of laminated safety glass according to rule 100 (3).
On being told that use of tinted films on factory-made glasses is completely prohibited, Imam said: “The window glasses of my car are mostly kept down (so there is no question of obstruction in the inside view of the car).”
Though Imam claimed that he keeps his car window glasses down, it has still come to the notice of Patna traffic superintendent of police Rajiv Mishra.
“The tinted glasses on the vehicle of Patna mayor have come to my notice. Accordingly, I have issued an instruction to my officers to peel off the tinted films whenever the vehicle is next sighted and impose penalty against the violation according to Motor Vehicles Act as well,” Mishra said.
The Section 100(2) of the Central Motor Vehicle Rules, 1989, states a fine of mere Rs 100 but authorities concerned can increase the fine by issuing necessary notification.
Senior officials in the state transport department said being the mayor of the city or putting a nameplate in front of the vehicle is no exception in following the norms.
“Nameplate on the vehicle does not entitle any exception for using tinted glasses by any person. If the mayor is flouting the ruling of Supreme Court then Patna traffic police should take necessary action against him,” said Vijoy Prakash, the principal secretary, transport.
Residents, too, lambasted Imam for using tinted glasses on his vehicle.
“It is shameful that despite being the first citizen of the city, the mayor has no respect for the law of the land. What kind of example of misuse of authority is he setting for us? This is a serious loophole in the system which puts at stake the common man’s safety and if the government doesn’t act then someone would have to pay the price one day,” said Ravi Mishra, a resident of Patliputra colony.