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Vikash Sharma

Bhubaneswar: Terming the incidents of harassment of public during enforcement of new rules under Motor Vehicles (MV) Act as ‘unfortunate,’ Odisha Congress has opposed collection of hefty fines under the new act.

Alleging that RTO officials, police and traffic personnel are misbehaving with public mostly women and girls, Congress MLA Sura Routray urged Odisha government to ensure that people do not face problems and are not harassed at any cost.

“On the direction of the Centre, Odisha government has imposed hefty fines under the MV Act and RTO officials, police and traffic personnel are misbehaving with women and girls,” said Routray.

We saw that several women, who were fined for several violations, pleading before the enforcement authorities that they were going to hospital or to drop their children to school for exams, he said.

"The government should learn how to behave with people. Such kind of misbehaviour towards women and girls will not be tolerated. As already several States like Gujarat and West Bengal have reduced penalties under the MV Act, Odisha government should also reduce the fine amount. We are giving 10 days time to the State government to take a decision on the matter or else we will ghearo RTO offices across Odisha and Income Tax office of the Central government,” Routray added.

Responding to the Congress MLA, Odisha Transport Minister Padmanabha Behera clarified that already clear instructions have been issued to all RTOs to ensure that public is not harassed during checking or enforcement drives.

“We will never tolerate any misbehaviour on the part of officials. But everybody should obey and follow the traffic norms as MV Act has been introduced to protect lives of people,” said Behera.

Behera further stated that directions will be issued to RTOs for ensuring that people are not harassed.

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