Vikash Sharma

Despite repeated awareness and extension of various deadlines, it seems that motorists and other vehicle owners in Odisha have become careless as far as adherence to traffic rules is concerned. Such statements seem correct if we analyse various official data.

In Odisha, around 25 lakh vehicles are plying without valid insurance and another three lakh vehicles are yet to affix the High-Security Registration Plates (HSRP). It is not required to mention the vehicles without requisite pollution under check (PUC) or fitness certificates as rampant violation persist here as well.

Keeping in view such statistics, the Odisha State Transport Department has now decided to launch a mega crackdown from August 1, 2023.

“The data of all vehicles passing through toll gates will be received in a portal. Subsequently, an automatic challan will be issued if the concerned vehicle lacks valid documents on the day of passing through the toll gate,” said Joint Transport Commissioner, Diptiranjan Patra.

As per available information, lakhs of vehicles are still plying on various routes in Odisha without valid insurance, fitness, PUC, and HRSP. Around 7 lakh vehicles do not have valid PUC. As per the Transport Department, there are 63,99,707 two-wheelers and 12, 10, 269 registered four-wheeler vehicles in the state.

The number of trucks, buses, and other vehicles stands at another 4, 10, 439. Out of this, 20,33,570 two-wheelers and 4, 15,000 four-wheeler vehicles do not have insurance certificates. As per section 146 of the MV Act, 1988, there is a provision of penalty of Rs 2,000 for driving without valid insurance and Rs 4,000 for the second offense.

However, the violators are not falling in line due to a lack of regular enforcement.

“20 lakh vehicles are running without insurance and how will the passengers get claims in case of accidents? The data is already available with the transport department but they are not sending notices. Rather they are also concerned about collecting fines. Things would improve if the focus is given on enforcement,” said expert Subrat Nanda.

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