Mayors across Maharashtra have united to press for a unique demand: red beacons for their official vehicles.
Mumbai mayor Snehal Ambekar has on every occasion refused to part with the red beacon on her vehicle, despite the state excluding her post from this facility. The new request for all mayors was pushed by the Maharashtra Mayor Council (MMC), of which Ambekar is president.
Ambekar, who had courted controversy in September 2014 for refusing to do away with the red beacon, said all mayors should be allowed to use them.
“The mayor is the first citizen of the city and represents the entire city. We are always invited to various events attended by the governor, chief minister and others dignitaries. So, as a respect to the post, the mayors of all municipal corporations across the state should have red beacons on their vehicles,” Ambekar said.
The MMC on Saturday also made other demands, including increasing the honorarium, starting pension for mayors, performing last rites with state honours and giving more administrative powers to mayors.
The MMC wants the honorarium of the mayor and corporators to be increased to Rs 25,000 and Rs 15,000 respectively.
Ambekar confirmed that a delegation of mayors will meet Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis to press for the demands — including that of the red beacon. “We are sending a letter with the demands and resolutions passed in Saturday’s meeting. I will meet Fadnavis soon with a delegation of mayors to follow up on them,” she added.
In accordance with a Supreme Court order of December 2013, the state had on April 4, 2014, published a list of 34 high-designation officers, who are allowed red beacon vehicles as they hold Constitutional posts. The post of mayor was not on it
Sudhakar Sonvane, mayor of Navi Mumbai said many MLAs consider them corporators despite the fact that they hold the mayor’s post. “We represent more citizens than MLAs. If we have red beacon on our cars, even people will feel proud,” he said.