Hefty Fines Under MV Act: Odisha RTOs To Function on Holidays, Brokers Under Scanner

Bhubaneswar: A day after relaxing the enforcement drive by providing a window of three months to motorists, Odisha Government has now geared up to create necessary infrastructure to speed up process for clearing pending applications including learners and driving licence.

The Transport department will soon come up with a standard operating procedure on how to streamline implementation of road safety norms in line with the new Motor Vehicles Act during the relaxation period, informed Transport secretary, G Srinivas after a review meeting held on Tuesday.

As per the decision, the Regional Transport Offices (RTOs) will now function on holidays while extra counters will be set up to assist people in obtaining necessary certificates and documents readily as per the requirements under the new Motor Vehicles Act 2019.

“As penalties under MV Act are stringent, we conducted a district-wise review of the existing infrastructure and manpower requirements at various RTOs so that the pending applications are disposed off within next 15 to 20 days,” said Srinivas.

Srinivas further stated that strict instructions have been issued to ensure that middlemen or brokers do not take advantage of the situation. Massive awareness drive will be launched in three months and keeping in view the difficulties faced by people, we have issued special directions to facilitate issuance of documents.

“We have issued directions to come up with a SOP. Our focus is now to ensure that public do not face problems in getting their documents ready,” Srinivas added.

Transport Commissioner informed that more counters, pollution testing units will be set up and increased slots will be made available for issuance of learners and driving licence.

Meanwhile, responding to the demands raised by opposition parties to refund the money collected as fines, Transport minister Padmanabh Behera informed that collected fine amount will not be returned to motorists who were penalized for traffic violations.

It is pertinent to mention that Odisha CM Naveen Patnaik had announced a three month window to allow motorists to obtain necessary documents required under the MV Act.

The move came after a violent scuffle between public and police at Rajmahal square in Bhubaneswar on Saturday. Alleging that government vehicles including ones of Odisha Police were not being checked while hefty fines were being collected from motorists; local residents detained a few government vehicles. Later, cops had to resort to lathi-charge to disperse the mob.