Motor Vehicles Act Chakka Jaam in Delhi-NCR
The “chakka jaam” will affect the movement of autos, buses (including school buses), tourist buses, taxi services (private and commercial which includes Ola and Uber, too) and gramin seva vehicles from 6 am on Thursday.
Daily commuters in Delhi-NCR may face hardships on Thursday as the United Front of Transport Association (UFTA) has called for a strike against various provisions of the amended Motor Vehicle (MV) Act, including the steep hike in penalties for various traffic-related offences. The “chakka jaam” will affect the movement of autos, buses (including school buses), tourist buses, taxi services (private and commercial which includes Ola and Uber, too) and gramin seva vehicles. The transport services will remain affected from 6 am till 10 pm on Thursday (September 19).
The UFTA is an umbrella body which represents 41 associations and unions of goods and passenger segments.
Many schools are also likely to remain closed in Delhi-NCR on Thursday due to the transport strike. Although the administration or the governments have not issued any advisory or order in this regard, the schools have announced closure due to unavailability of buses by private operators.
The UFTA has listed a number of issues post the implementation of Motor Vehicles Amendment Act 2019 which, the association said, instigated them to call for the strike.
These are the issues that the UFTA has put forward to stimulate the government:
1) Exorbitant hike in penalties post the Motor Vehicle Amendment Act 2019.
2) Limiting the liability of insurance companies in Motor Accidents Claims Tribunal (MACT) claims, in case of an accident by a commercial vehicle.
3) Irrational and unviable increase in the rates of income tax, vide sec 44-AE, for HGVs (heavy goods vehicles).
4) Implementation of social security schemes for drivers and their families of CVs with insurance cover, as promised by the Central government.
The UFTA office bearers on Wednesday alleged that both the Centre and the Delhi government is forcing them to go on the strike.
“We have been seeking redressal of our grievances related to the new MV Act from both the Centre and the Delhi government for the last 15 days, but no solution is there is sight forcing us to go on one-day strike,” said UFTA general secretary Shyamlal Gola.
He added the road transport sector is already passing through its worst phase due to rising economic uncertainties, exorbitant taxes and penalties and corruption. “The exorbitant and unviable penalties imposed through the amended Motor Vehicle Act 2019 have increased the corruption, high handedness and harassment of vehicle owners and drivers,” he charged.
Speaking with India Today TV, UFTA President Kultaran Singh Atwal said, “We tried talking to the government but nobody is ready to listen to us. We’re not against the implementation of the Motor Vehicles Act but the corruption which started following the implementation.”
He added: “We had welcomed the move but it has now started impacting our livelihood. You’ve seen the hefty challans that are being issued for very petty violations. A vehicle is suddenly halted and huge challan is issued which the drivers are unable to pay…it is impacting our work. We just wanted the government to listen to our demands for once which they didn’t. Hence, we had to take this step.”
Harish Sabarwal, Chairman UFTA, said, “We had submitted our memorandum to the Central and the state governments which they didn’t consider and took them lightly. Our genuine issues have been ignored and this is the reason we’re calling for a “chakka jaam”.
On being asked about the problems commuters will face due to the transport strike, he told the India Today TV, “We’re apologetic for not being able to serve people which we’ve always had but this is the only way we can make the government listen. I hope the government considers our demands else we’ll have to extend this strike which we’re calling as a token of our discontent.”
President Delhi Taxi Tourist Transporters Association Sanjay Samrat said they will not be part of the strike.