Chennai: Even as there is criticism from various quarters for the Centre’s decision to levy steep fines under the new Motor Vehicles Act, Union Minister Nitin Gadkari has justified the move by saying the government’s intention is not to garner revenue but to make people follow rules in order to reduce the number of accidents in the country.
According to the Minister of Road Transport and Highways and Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises, the higher fines are meant to save lives rather than augment revenue. Gadkari said the States could decide to lower the fines imposed in their jurisdiction. He added that the fines had been increased after 30 years.
Activists of the Congress’ youth wing staged a demonstration near the residence of Union Road Transport minister Nitin Gadkari on Wednesday against the ‘steep’ hike in penalty under the amended Motor Vehicle Act. Indian Youth Congress (IYC) president Srinivas BV said they tried to gift two old motorcycles and scooters to Gadkari to make him realise how people were being forced to pay the fine that are higher than the value of their old vehicles. The protesters trying to head towards Gadkari’s residence at Moti Lal Nehru Road, but were stopped at a police barricade.
Stating that the Motor Vehicles (Amendment) Bill falls under the concurrent list, giving both the Central and the State governments the right to make laws, Gadkari said, “The government’s intention is not to fine people to earn more revenue… I have said this many times that in India 5 lakh accidents take place, 1.5 lakh people lose their lives …which is the highest in the world.” While Parliament in July passed the more stringent Motor Vehicles (Amendment) Bill, 2019, many States are implementing it now. Rules are meant to be followed and not to be broken. If every motorists follow the safety measures, which were laid to safeguard their own lives, what is the need to pay the fine and why should anyone cry foul over it?