Mumbai: The Maha Vikas Aghadi government has decided not to implement the amended Motor Vehicles Act in Maharashtra until its concerns on the imposition of the hefty fine for non-compliance are addressed by the Centre. Transport Minister Anil Parab told The Free Press Journal, ''Under the new law, fines are quite high. I want to discuss the issue with the Union minister of transport Nitin Gadkari. Until then, the Act will not be implemented in Maharashtra.''
Under the new law, people not wearing helmets or seat belts will be fined Rs 1,000, instead of the earlier Rs 100. Those driving without a licence will be fined Rs 5,000 or undergo a three-month jail term. People will be fined Rs 10,000 for drunk driving, up from the earlier Rs 2,000.
Non-BJP governments in Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Rajasthan, Kerala, Odisha, and West Bengal have put the law on hold. The BJP-ruled Gujarat is considering slashing fines by as much as 90%.
Parab hinted that the state government is not on the same page as the Centre over imposing huge fines on drivers. His predecessor and Shiv Sena leader Diwakar Raote, had unilaterally shot off a letter to Gadkari last September, saying the government would hold the implementation of the new fines. He had appealed to the Centre to lessen the fines by making suitable amendments to the
Motor Vehicles (Amendment) Act, 2019.
Raote had kept former Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis in the dark about his letter, much to the former's chagrin. However, he had indicated the revision in the amount of fines, to make it less it less harsh for the common man, without compromising on the 'deterrent value' of the Act.