Mumbai mayor Sunil Prabhu was visibly upset after he was denied the red beacon on his car in a recent circular issued by the state government. The first citizen of Mumbai, was, after all, not included in the gazette list of important persons permitted to use the red beacon atop their official vehicle.
The Supreme Court (SC) order on December 10, 2013 had asked the state government to decide on the list of important dignitaries who would be permitted to use the red beacon. "However, the government conveniently dropped my name from the list, while he kept ministers on the list," said mayor Prabhu. Following the incident, Prabhu had written to Maharashtra chief minister Prithviraj Chavan, requesting him to include the post of mayor in the new gazette list.
As per the letter, a few months after the SC's order, a notification was issued by the state government on April 4 this year, which stated that A and B class mayor were permitted to use the amber light without flasher on the top of their vehicles.
"Mumbai, being the industrial capital of the country, BMC is identified and known as class A corporation. BMC has a budget which is the same or more than any small state. Mumbai's mayor represents 1.25 crore citizens. Since the last many years, the mayor has always had the permission to use red beacon on the top of his official vehicle given by the BMC," the letter states.
"The position of mayor comes immediately after the CM. So this is an insult to the position," mayor Prabhu told mediapersons on Wednesday. "The mayor is invited by foreign delegates during their visits. Hence, the mayor should also be included in the list that permits important dignitaries to use the red beacon on their official vehicle. This is my honest view, being a first citizen of the city. I hope you will take note of this," the letter further read.