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Bus, taxi, app cab operators demand withdrawal of hike in fines for traffic rule violations

Kolkata, Jan 27 (PTI) Bus, meter taxi and app cab operators in the city staged protests on Thursday demanding withdrawal of hike in fines for traffic rule violations which the West Bengal government has enforced in line with the Motor Vehicle (Amendment) Act that was passed two years ago.

The operators urged the government to reconsider the decision to hike the fines, which have seen a five to ten-fold increase since earlier this week.

“This is unfortunate, the huge increase has come when we have been pleading with the government to write off the pending traffic-related fines on commercial vehicles owing to the pandemic situation,” Joint Council of Bus Syndicates general secretary Tapan Banerjee said.

A section of taxi and app cab operators staged protests demanding withdrawal of the increase in penalties for traffic rule violations.

State Transport minister Firhad Hakim has said that the measure was necessitated by incidents of rash driving and accidents occurring in the metropolis and other parts of the state.

“Earlier the fines were so low that a section of people did not bother to follow the rules, this will act as a deterrent,” he said on Wednesday.

Leader of Congress party in Lok Sabha Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury criticised the Mamata Banerjee government for increasing the penalties.

“This has been done to fill the state’s coffers,” Chowdhury. who is also the West Bengal Pradesh Congress Committee president, told reporters here.

Trinamool Congress MLA and former state Transport minister Madan Mitra said that he will inform Hakim about the demands of the bus and taxi operators.

He, however, hastened to add that the measure has been taken “to bring back observance of traffic rules among drivers of vehicles.” The Centre had increased the fines two years ago, but the West Bengal government had not implemented the Motor Vehicles (Amendment) Act, 2019 then.

A person driving a car without a valid license will have to shell out Rs 5,000, up from the previous fine of Rs 500. Similarly, one driving recklessly will have to pay a fine of up to Rs 4,000, which was Rs 400 earlier, the notification issued by the state Transport Department on Tuesday said. PTI AMR RG RG

This report is auto-generated from PTI news service. ThePrint holds no responsibility for its content.

Source: The Print

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