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Thursday, Sep 19, 2019

Maharashtra transport minister stays implementation of amended Motor Vehicles Act; Pune activists cry foul

Announcing the decision, state transport minister Diwakar Raote urged the Centre to “reconsider and reduce” the hefty fines by making amendments to the new MVA

pune Updated: Sep 13, 2019 13:50 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Kalyan RTO’s new building foundation stone laying ceremony opened by Maharashtra State transport minister Diwakar Raote  on August 27.
Kalyan RTO’s new building foundation stone laying ceremony opened by Maharashtra State transport minister Diwakar Raote on August 27. (Rishikesh Choudhary/ Hindustan Times)
         

Maharashtra’s ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP)-Shiv Sena coalition on Wednesday termed the heavy penalties under the new Motor Vehicles Act as “exorbitant” and stayed its implementation.

Announcing the decision, state transport minister Diwakar Raote urged the Centre to “reconsider and reduce” the hefty fines by making amendments to the new MVA.

Effectively, the people of Maharashtra have been spared of the new MVA and resultant stiff penalties till at least after the assembly elections, said an official of the state RTO.

However, city civic activists who work in the road safety sector criticised the Maharashtra government for its stand on the new amendments. Activist alleged that political leaders were taking the popular stand and going against their own central government because of the upcoming assembly polls.

Parisar founder Sujit Patwardhan and co-coordinator Sandeep Gaikwad, said, “While making the amendments in Motor Vehicles Act, the central government had given some thought. If the Maharashtra government had objections, the government could have easily raised their voice when it was being passed in the Parliament. With the assembly elections round the corner, Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis and transport minister Diwakar Raote are now taking the popular stand to woo the people.”

“We have asked the Centre to clarify. Till the time they clarify, the new provisions won’t be implemented in the state as there is no notification yet,” Raote had said in Mumbai. On being asked if the move is intended to garner votes in lieu of the upcoming assembly polls, Raote said that the Motor Vehicles Act was amended, when there were no polls in sight.

Nationalist Congress Party leader Nilesh Nikam also criticised the state government’s stand on the Motor Vehicles Act. “One nation, one law was BJP’s popular slogan. The amendment to the motor vehicles act upheld by the Prime Minister led central government are being diluted by Gujarat and other states. They have reduced the fines for violating traffic rules. Maharashtra has decided to stay the notification. In both the states, BJP is in power. Has PM Narendra Modi lost grip over his own party members,” asked Nikam.

First Published: Sep 11, 2019 21:17 IST