Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath was one of the first politicians to back Prime Minister Narendra Modi's move to ban red beacons. But now Yogi seems to have found an alternative for retaining the VIP status of the MPs and MLAs in Uttar Pradesh.
The UP government has issued a directive to provide separate toll-free lanes for MLAs and MPs at all toll plazas across the state, including the ones on national highways.
In a letter addressed to magistrates across UP, that dates back to July 15, additional chief secretary Sadakant said that no road toll will be charged for any MLA from UP Assembly or MPs from the state, the Times of India reported.
The letter reportedly informed that all district magistrates must ensure that the toll plazas under their jurisdiction will provide a separate lane to the MPs and MLAs stuck in traffic jams and added that the National Highway Authority of India (NHAI) is also expected to cooperate for the implementation of this new directive.
Although MPs and MLAs have been exempted from paying toll tax, the operators at the toll plaza ask the unofficial vehicles accompanying them to pay up which often ends in a spat. In such cases, law and order situation is also affected.
Back in May, BJP MLA Mahendra Yadav and his supporters had reportedly assaulted toll plaza operator in Pilibhit after they were asked to pay up toll tax for the unofficial vehicles in the convoy.
Now, with that order coming into action, such incidents are likely to happen more frequently.