Relief for motorist from hefty fines: Odisha relaxes enforcement for 3 months

Bhubaneswar: Expressing concerns over the recent fracas between public and police at Rajmahal square in Bhubaneswar during enforcement of guidelines under the amended Motor Vehicles Act 2019, Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik on Monday relaxed the enforcement drive for three months.

In a latest decision, Patnaik has directed the enforcement agencies not to aggressively go on an overdrive but rather counsel and handhold the public to facilitate compliance with the amended provisions of MV Act.

Patnaik has also directed the authorities including officials of the Transport department to ensure that people do not face problems in getting all the necessary documents ready so as to comply with the new traffic rules.

The Transport Department has been directed to strengthen facilitation Centres, open extra counters, conduct camps in public institutions so as to enable the motor vehicle users to update their compliance status.

“This process will continue over the next three months so that adequate time is made available to the public to ensure compliance. Massive Road Safety awareness campaign will be carried out to sensitise public on the new norms,” said Patnaik in a statement.

He has also requested all motor vehicle users to obey traffic rules and desist from dangerous driving which will endanger their lives and that of others.

Transport Minister Padmanabha Behera said that the State government is also mulling to bring some rules to provide some respite to people from hefty fines under the new Motor Vehicles Act 2019.

“We have realised that fines are hefty under the new Motor Vehicles Act. We are trying to bring some rules to provide some relaxation to people in the State,” said Behera.

Meanwhile, following massive crackdown a lot of people in the State have stopping using personal vehicles and are relying on public and other means of transport. This has resulted in the sharp fall in the sale of petrol and diesel.

“Odisha government’s loss as revenue from sale of petrol stands at Rs 58 lakh while Rs 1.78 crore on diesel per day,” said Sanjay Lath, general secretary of Utkal Petroleum Dealers’ Association.