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Basavaraj Bommai does away with zero-traffic privilege in Bengaluru

Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai has decided to do away with zero-traffic privilege for his motorcade/convoy while he is travelling in the city, due to the inconvenience it can cause to motorists.

“The zero-traffic privilege has in the past created problems for ambulances as well as fire tenders. Hence, the Chief Minister has ordered that the facility be cancelled and limited only from junction-to-junction clearance. This is barring emergency situations,” said B.R. Ravikanthe Gowda, Joint Commissioner of Police, Traffic. The Home Minister, too, has refused zero-traffic clearance.

Following this decision, the Bengaluru traffic control room on Saturday aired a message informing police personnel on duty not to enforce this henceforth. “Traffic support will, however, be extended from signal to signal. Even then, it should be ensured that ambulance movement be given priority,” said a senior police officer.

A few days ago, Mr. Bommai banned the presentation of garlands, bouquets, shawls and fruits at official programmes, and said that organisers could instead present Kannada books to guests.

In another recent directive, he said there should be no police guard of honour for Chief Ministers in public spaces. Following this, Director-General and Inspector-General of Police Praveen Sood has issued a circular to the police not to accord a guard of honour to VIPs at public places. It should be limited at government offices. As per the circular, the guard of honour will be given on arrival and only once per day. It should not be given while VIPs are departing, stated the circular.

However this is not applicable to Governors, and judges of the Supreme Court and High Courts.

“The guard of honour is a customary tradition given to VIPs as part of the rule book. But there is a decorum to be followed,” said Mr. Sood. He added that the police are giving guard of honour at public places, including railway stations, airports, and other public places. “There are instances where the guard of honour is given many times in a single day. This has disrupted the purpose.”

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