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Vikash Sharma

Bhubaneswar: Youth Congress on Saturday sought a six-month relaxation in the enforcement of traffic rules under the amended Motor Vehicles Act in Odisha. A delegation of the party's youth wing led by its president Loknath Maharathy on Saturday met Odisha Transport Minister Padmanabha Behera and submitted a memorandum in this regard.

Besides, the Congress delegation has also demanded reduction in the penalties for traffic violations to Rs 1,000.

“We are against harassment of public by enforcing authorities in the name of streamlining or enforcing traffic rules.

We are not against enforcement of traffic rules but we are demanding restricting collection of fines at Rs 1,000 as it will also generate the same awareness among violators who are now paying hefty fines,” said Maharathy.

At present there is lack of proper infrastructure in the State which is creating problems for people in obtaining necessary documents like the driving license. The authorities should initiate special measures to issue driving license in a single day which is done in some States in the country, said Maharathy.

“At present, there are no proper signage regarding no parking, no entry zones and other basic requirements at various places. Besides, people are queuing up at RTO offices to obtain various documents including driving licenses,” said Maharathy adding that imposing hefty fines can never be a permanent solution to make people aware of traffic rules.

Responding to the seven-day deadline of Youth Congress, Transport Minister Padmanabha Behera said, “We will review the demand of extending relaxation after going through the data about how many driving licenses have been issued and the number of pending applications.”

Behera further stated that Odisha government had already relaxed enforcement of the strict rules under the MV Act for a period of six months to provide time to people to get all their documents ready.

“Union Transport Minister had categorically turned down demands of various States to reduce penalties under the MV Act. As protecting lives of people is the top priority of the government, we will discuss the matter with Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik on what can be down in this regard,” Behera added.

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