With defiance of traffic norms by commercial vehicles on rise in the hill-state, the Himachal Pradesh government has decided to withdraw compounding of offences powers of Regional Transport Officer (RTO).
The power of compounding the offences (release of vehicle after imposing fine), under Motor Vehicle Act, will now be vested in the Regional Transport Authority (RTA). The RTA has been formed at district-level and works under supervision of additional chief secretary of the transport department.
“Serious offences under the act like rash, negligent driving, driving without license, overloading are on the rise in the state and often causing fatal accidents,” said transport minister GS Bali.
“The offenders often go scot free as the offences are compounded by RTO-the vehicle released after imposing minimal fine,” he added.
The minister said the fresh move to rest the power of compounding with RTA will go a long a way in instilling discipline and ensure road safety.
“Such offences will now attract heavy penalties,” Bali said adding, “The new decision will come into force with immediate effect.”
The RTO is transport department official posted at district-level to enforce implementation of the provisions of the motor vehicles act.
The RTA, headed by deputy commissioners concerned, at district-level oversee and decide over the policy decisions to implement the motor vehicle act like issuing permits for various bus routes.
Later, addressing a press conference, Bali said in wake of the pollution created by goods vehicles, the state government would be holding a national-level workshop on technology improvement.
“The maximum population is caused by the goods vehicles. In my previous term as the transport minister I had taken some initiative on technology improvement, suggesting giving more incentives to multi-axel vehicles,” said Bali, adding that the recommendations were not implemented due to change of government in the state.
The minister said the transport department would soon be holding a national-level workshop on technological improvement. “This workshop will be held either in Shimla or Dharamsala,” added Bali.
Bali informed that the transport department was also contemplating upgradation of the bus terminals in the state.
“A French team will be visiting the state, probably in 3rd week of October and suggest and help in improvement and upgradation of bus terminals,” the minister said. “Besides, the state will be getting a fleet of 800 new buses, sanctioned for Himachal under Jawahar Lal Nehru Urban Renewal Mission (JNNURM),” said Bali, adding that to improve transport facilities in rural areas, committees have been constituted under concerned sub- divisional magistrate, which will be sending recommendation to the state according to the need and feasibility.
The minister also told that the government had allotted around 650 kanal of land to Indian Oil Corporation (IOC) for creation of petroleum product storage terminal in Mehatpur of Una district.