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Flags to replace red beacons in West Bengal

LiveMint logoLiveMint 21-06-2017 Arkamoy Dutta Majumdar

Kolkata: The West Bengal government on Monday issued a notification to introduce flags as a differentiator for cars used by top officials, replacing red beacons banned by the centre last month.

This follows chief minister Mamata Banerjee’s open declaration that she wasn’t pleased with the centre’s “unilateral” decision to ban red beacons. Soon after the ban was announced, she said alternative arrangements were to be made.

The Times of India reported that cars used by Indian Administrative Service (IAS) officers in West Bengal are to be given three types of flags depending on rank.

Under the “flag scheme”, the West Bengal government notified that officers of the rank of chief secretary, additional chief secretary and principal secretary are to be given rectangular flags for use on their official vehicles. Those of the rank of secretaries are to given swallow-tailed flags, and those of the rank of district magistrates and commissioners are to be given triangular flags.

While imposing the ban from 1 May, the centre allowed the use of beacons by law enforcement agencies and disaster management teams.

The notification issued by the state on Monday said: “In view of the significant rise in the level of interaction with various international and national level authorities, it is felt that a flag for use on vehicles (of) senior officials… shall convey a greater sense of government’s intent… without compromising protocol.”

The use of flags, however, has been restricted to travel on official work.

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