Taking a dig at the dilution of the freshly-implemented Motor Vehicles Act in the country, a senior Congress leader Jairam Ramesh said that the Bhartiya Janata Party was diluting the act quoting the same article of the Constitution as was done, in the case of Land Acquisition Act in 2013. But he is supposed to be opposing the state government’s stand wholly on political reasons. It is correct that the Concurrent List allows them to do as they wish in public interest. While the discontent about the increase in penalty is rising, there remains no other way to bring some relaxation.
The million-dollar question arises whether consensus on bringing the new MV act was taken or not. The BJP spokesperson on a television debate made it clear that there was complete agreement on this matter. Then why are the steps being taken to dilute the law? Was it owing to the approaching elections in the different states? The BJP governments in Gujarat and Uttarakhand s have already reduced the fines. Uttar Pradesh may follow suit in the time to come. Its transport minister has cleared that he has directed to revert the penalty for traffic violations to the old rates. This could be a big relief.
Not only wearing helmets but wearing shoes, and pants has also been made mandatory for the vehicle riders. Reacting on the dress code, widely-known NCP leader Nawab Malik stated, how could South Indian and Punjabi drivers discard their habit of wearing lungi during the drive? He even disclosed that it was the BJP who once opposed the compulsion of wearing helmets in Mumbai. At present, it is increasing fines in the name of safety. How contradictory does it look!
Practically, the new act does not seem to gather a good response from the public. The transport minister thinks the change is essential after a long gap of 30 years. The fine that had been fixed in the past was not deemed suitable in today’s times. But he appears to have overlooked the required strict rules for the Regional Transport Offices. There is a need to bring improvement in the mindset of the officials too, especially if the highest-ranking police officer mentions there is a competition among the policemen as to who reaches first on the road for checking the vehicles.
The disease is in corrupted ways, not the low rate of fine. As long as this tendency is not uprooted, there can hardly be any betterment of the situation. Despite stringent laws to check crimes in society, there is no downward trend in its control. Though Nitin Gadkari defends his ideas about the hefty fines, he finds himself all alone in his stand on the amendment of the law.