Odisha to approach Centre for amendments in new MV Act

Odisha to approach Centre for amendments in new MV Act

Odisha Chief Minister and Biju Janata Dal (BJD) President Naveen Patnaik (PTI Photo)

The ruling BJD has said that the Odisha government will approach the Centre for bringing some amendments in the new Motor Vehicles Act because of resentment among people over the hefty fines for violations of traffic rules.

Senior MLA and BJD Spokesperson P K Deb on Sunday said the state government will write to the Centre seeking some amendments in the Act.

"A proposal will be sent to the Central government for bringing amendments in the act highlighting the concerns voiced by the people about its implementation," Deb said.

Odisha Transport Minister Padmanabha Behera said the state government can further relax norms, if necessary.

The two BJD leaders made statements about the new MV Act after a violent clash between a group of people protesting collection of "hefty" fines on violators of traffic rules and police in the state capital in which several persons were injured on Saturday.

The state government, bowing to public outcry against heavy penalties for a traffic rule violation, has on Friday announced relaxation for a month in the norms of air and noise pollution under the Motor Vehicles (Amendment) Act, 2019.

The Odisha Transport minister said further relaxation can be provided keeping in view the difficulty faced by the people as the state has discretionary powers.

Slamming the state government over the manner in which the revised traffic rules are being implemented, opposition BJP and Congress pointed out that states like Rajasthan, West Bengal and Madhya Pradesh have sought more time to implement the revised penalties under the new Motor Vehicles act.

Senior Congress leader and MLA Suresh Routray accused the state government of implementing the new law in a hurry without making the people aware of it and giving them proper orientation and sensitisation.

BJP state general secretary Prithviraj Harichandan alleged that common people are being harassed and exploited in the name of imposing penalties for a traffic rule violation.

Parliament had passed the Motor Vehicles (Amendment) Bill, 2019 on July 31 with provisions for stricter and heavier penalties for violations in an effort to improve road safety.

The Bill got President's assent on August 9 and is applicable pan India from September 1.