MLA Ananta Jena Fined For Violating New Traffic Rules

Bhubaneswar: Amid brewing public discontent over alleged traffic police leniency towards government officials, former Bhubaneswar Mayor and sitting MLA Ananta Narayan Jena was fined by cops today for violating rules under the new Motor Vehicles (Amendment) Act 2019 which came into effect from September 1.

Jena, who is an MLA from Bhubaneswar-Central constituency was fined Rs 500 for parking his vehicle in an unauthorized no-parking area near AG Square in Bhubaneswar today.

According to sources, cops levied the penalty on the MLA in presence of Bhubaneswar DCP Anup Sahu during an awareness programme undertaken by the traffic police near the square.

While Bhubaneswar DCP Anup Sahu said that law is same for everyone, later confessing his mistake, MLA Jena said, “My driver had parked the vehicle in the no parking zone so I had to pay a fine of Rs 500 as per the law. Such incidents will make people conscious and I too have also made my driver aware about the new traffic rules that are being implemented stringently.”

A day after simmering resentment over hefty fines sparked tension near Rajmahal Square in Bhubaneswar, the Commissionerate Police today launched a special awareness drive in the Smart City on road safety and new MV Act.

Distributing chocolates to motorists for obeying traffic rules, Traffic DCP Sagarika Nath said, “We are thankful to people for cooperating with us and obey traffic rules under the new law with an aim to make a better Bhubaneswar.

Reiterating on strict implementation of five prime aspects of the new MV Act, Sagarika said that even as public are being allowed a bit of leniency, police have decided to show zero tolerance towards drunken driving.

“This apart, driving while talking on phone, wrong side driving, triple riding and of course driving without helmet or seat belts will be under our scanner,” said Sagarika.

Meanwhile, just a few days after the launch of the new law, report of a truck driver levied with a whopping fine of Rs 86,500 on September 3 in Odisha has come to fore.

According to sources, the Transport department officials of Sambalpur had stopped a truck which was being driven by one Ashok Yadav near Saralakani area and found the vehicle bearing registration certificate of Nagaland. During probe, the officials found the vehicle violating as many as 4 different traffic rules and accordingly levied penalties. The truck driver was fined Rs 56,000 alone for overloading the vehicle with a JCB machine. However, the driver paid Rs 70,000 after negotiating with authorities.

Police have also collected a fine of Rs 72,000 and Rs 42,000 from two separate places during vehicle inspection in Rayagada.

On the other hand, Opposition political parties have criticised the State government over the hasty implementation of the new MV Act.

Senior Congress leader Sura Routray slammed the government over the issue alleging that around 90 % of police vehicles and 70 to 80 % of vehicles used by netas do not have necessary clearance documents required under the new MV Act.

“If the reports of hefty fines and hassles faced by people are true then the State government should not try to exploit people in the name of amended motor vehicle rules because it is not the aim of the law,” said BJP General Secretary Prithviraj Harichandan.

BJD leader Pratap Deb however clarified that “It is a Central Act and the States who have not implemented the new law will implement in due course. Whatever problems are being faced in implementing the law will be rectified and we will write to Centre for necessary amendments.”