The decision of the union cabinet on Wednesday to ban use of red beacons by VIPs from May 1 has garnered much appreciation from the general public, government servants and few ministers even as assure to keep a close watch on whether the same would be followed in letter and spirit.
Public representatives and political parties of Meghalaya while appreciating this move advocated on the need to keep a close watch on long convoys used by VVIPs when they visit the state and Northeast.
Here is what Public representatives have to say:
Ampareen Lyngdoh (Congress Minister): 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 minister 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.
Paul Lyngdoh (UDP leader): It is a certainly welcoming step but I feel that more than the red beacons, it is the long convoys accompanying the union ministers when they visit the Northeast because it is not the red beacons which attracts criticisms but it is the long convoys owing to the fact that they bring traffic to a halt causing unnecessary harassment to the common man.
Conrad Sangma (NPP National President): 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.
And this is what social activists/students/professionals have to say:
Agnes Kharshiing (CSWO President): It is a very good decision which was warranted long time ago. I am happy because many a time we see that the public servants, government servants gives 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.
Patricia Mukhim (Columnist/Editor of Shillong Times): Hurray!!! Beginning of the end of VVIP/VIP culture… something many of us have stood against. The only thing one can say is “Thank God it’s over.” Hope the military top brass in Shillong are listening good.
Heiwidon Neville Pde (Student): Good enough….i was waiting for this to happen.