No road toll, special toll plaza lanes for MPs, MLAs encourage VIP culture in UP?
Lucknow, July 22: Prime Minister Narendra Modi has vowed to end the much-criticised "VIP culture" from the country. It is in this regard, the Modi government has decided to remove red beacon or lal batti from May 1 onwards, across the country.
However, it looks like, the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) in Uttar Pradesh does not believe in what the PM of the country says against the much-maligned VIP culture--which gives special privileges to a few, including politicians and celebrities, at the cost of common man in the country.
According to a report by The Times of India, a directive has been issued by the Yogi Adityanath government in UP to provide separate lanes for members of legislative assembly (MLAs) and members of Parliament (MPs) at toll plazas across the state, including national highways.
The latest ruling is to help avoid "VIPs" getting caught in traffic jams at toll plazas. However, the bureaucrats in the state have expressed their anger against the privileges granted to the elected leaders.
The officials feel that the Adityanath government is encouraging "VIP culture" and causing great discomfort to the toll plaza personnel and common man.
Moreover, the Centre is also pampering the elected representatives from UP--MPs, MLAs and members of legislative council (MLCs)-- by exempting them from paying any road toll.
Additional chief secretary Sadakant, in his recent letter to district magistrates across the state, said that as per rules notified by the Centre, no road toll would be charged from any MLA or MLC of the UP assembly, or MPs from the state.
"All district magistrates will ensure that toll plazas under their jurisdiction will provide a separate lane to MPs and MLAs in the event of traffic jams," the letter said, also saying that authorities of the National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) are expected to cooperate in the matter.
Now, UP officials fear that assault cases against toll plaza personnel by VIPs would increase after these special privileges have been rolled out for them.
BJP MLA Mahendra Yadav and his supporters had allegedly assaulted toll plaza staff in Pilibhit over payment of toll in May this year.