By Bizodisha Bureau, Bhubaneswar, September 9, 2019: Odisha government on Monday said that it would 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.

The move by the state government follows 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 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.

Odisha Transport Minister Padmanabha Behera said the state government can further relax norms keeping in view the difficulty faced by the people as the state has discretionary powers.

Senior MLA and the ruling 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.

Opposition BJP and Congress lambasted the state government over the manner in which the revised traffic rules are being implemented, pointing 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 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.

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