Free Press Journal

Road Transport Bill is violative of federal spirit: M Karunanidhi


M Karunanidhi

Chennai: Tearing into the NDA government over a proposed controversial transport bill, DMK President M Karunanidhi today said it was violative of the federal spirit and the government had adopted a ‘deceptive’ approach to undo the basic infrastructure of transport sector.

The Road Transport and Safety Bill, 2015, was “violative of the federal spirit by taking away states’ rights,” and paved the way for Centre enjoying more powers and the one-day strike by trade unions against the bill on April 30 was largely successful, he said. The “negative provisions” included servicing vehicles only in authorised centres, opting for genuine spares even for two-wheelers and stringent punishment for minor offences, he said. “With the existing Motor Vehicles Act, 1988, being completely modified, those dependent on the road sector for a livelihood such as drivers and service personnel, will be severely impacted. The future of employees of PSU transport departments will also be in jeopardy,” he said in a statement.

Many sops for the underprivileged including free bus passes will end in the coming years, he said. “The transport bill is a deceptive one as under the garb of (ensuring) safe and accident-free road journeys, it aims at killing the basic infrastructure of the years-old Indian road transport at the behest of private corporates,” he said. Centre’s moves like Land Acquisition Bill, labour reforms, accepting the Meena Kumari Commission recommendation on deep-sea fishing had already affected the stakeholders in the respective sectors and the Transport Bill will impact those in this sector, he said.

Considering the opposition to the Bill, which was registered through the April 30 nationwide strike by trade unions, the NDA government should rollback the proposed bill, he said. “I wish to point out (to the NDA) that it will be of no use calling itself a people’s government even as it has angered all-sections of the society,” he added.