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Steep hike in fines: Govt will take 'conscious' call on it, says Gahlot

Steep hike in fines: Govt will take conscious call on it, says Gahlot

New Delhi: The Delhi government wants to provide respite to people from steeply hiked penalties under the amended Motor Vehicle Act and will take a "conscious" decision on it, Transport Minister Kailash Gahlot said on Wednesday.

He, however, clarified the Delhi government is not mulling to "dilute" the hiked penalties as of now.

The government is taking feedback from the stakeholders and looking at how other states are moving on it. It will soon take a "conscious" call on it, Gahlot said at a press conference.

To a question on hiked penalties, the minister said, "The government wants to give respite (to the people). But, the areas where the (Delhi) government has powers have to be examined. The Motor Vehicles Act comes under the Central list and if the Union government makes any amendment, it prevails over the powers of the state."

"Though state governments have certain discretionary powers to ease the penalties with respect to certain offences as per the new Motor Vehicles Act, as of now the Delhi government is not mulling to dilute them since the stringent measures are meant to ensure road safety," the minister said in a statement.

He said road safety is a major concern for the Delhi government and it is very serious about the issue.

"We are closely observing the initiatives of other states as well as consulting with various stakeholders. At any stage, if the Delhi government is convinced about reducing penalties for certain offences, we will do the needful," Gahlot said.

There are around 61 offences under the amended Act, out of which 27 are those on which state governments have no say. However, in the case of the remaining 34 compoundable offences, the state governments can exercise their discretion, he said.

The Delhi transport minister said his department has taken several measures to meet the heavy rush for obtaining pollution under check (PUC) certificates.

"The capacity of the server has been enhanced from today so that it can process over 6,000 applications for PUC certificates each which was around 3,200 per hour earlier," Gahlot said.

The PUC centres at Delhi Transport Corporation (DTC) depots and terminals have been kept open from 11 am till 7 pm, for catering to private vehicles. The transport department will also invite applications for opening new PUC centres. The number of PUC centres in the national capital now is 940, he said.

According to an official, after the amended Motor Vehicles Act come into force on September 1, each day on an average 50,000 vehicles undergo the test for a certificate of meeting emission and pollution control norms now, against 10,000 to 12,000 vehicles visiting the test centres before the amended law, which hiked the penalty, came into force.

Civil Defence volunteers will be deployed at the PUC centres for crowd management and the Delhi government is

keeping a tab on the these facilities so that they do not indulge in any malpractice like overcharging the vehicle owners, Gahlot said, adding two centres have been suspended for malpractices.

The number of vehicles in the city is over 1.10 crore, out of which 70 lakh ply on the city roads. Non BS-IV compliant vehicles need to get a PUC certificate after every three months, while BS-IV standard ones require it every year.

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