BHUBANESWAR: A day after Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik provided partial relaxation from hefty fines for traffic rules violations under Motor Vehicles (Amendment) Act, 2019, the State Government on Tuesday announced that Transport Department offices will remain open even on holidays to facilitate the preparation of required documents.
Commerce and Transport Minister Padmanabha Behera informed media persons after a high-level meeting at the Secretariat here that Regional Transport Officers (RTOs) have been asked to set up special camps at various locations to help people comply with the amended provisions of MV Act. “The State Government will provide all kinds of support to the public to help them arrange their vehicle documents within the relaxation period of three months,” he said.
The Minister, however, said fine collected from violators of traffic rules during the last nine days will not be refunded. Opposition political parties had demanded that the Government should refund the fine collected from the public before the Chief Minister ordered three-month relaxation period.
Senior Congress MLA Santosh Singh Saluja and BJP legislator Lalitendu Mohapatra had asked the Government to refund the money collected from people, particularly two-wheeler owners, without creating awareness about the provisions in the new Act.
Meanwhile, the State Government on Tuesday directed the RTOs to open more counters at their respective offices to enable people get documents of their vehicles ready in time. Talking to mediapersons after a video-conferencing with the RTOs at the Secretariat, Principal Secretary in the Commerce and Transport Department G Srinivas said more counters will be opened in the RTO offices with additional staff. Most of the counters will deal with new driving licences and renewal of old ones.
Srinivas said more pollution testing centres will be opened to avoid heavy rush and stern action will be taken against brokers who charge a hefty amount from people to prepare their documents. He, however, made it clear that no mercy will be shown to drunk drivers.
Police Commissioner Sudhanshu Sarangi also asked the public to prepare the required documents within three months failing which they will face strict action.