Bhubaneswar, Sep 7 (IANS) The road users, up in arms against levying of heavy fines under the amended Motor Vehicles (MV) Act, here on Saturday staged a protest and the police had to resort to mild lathi-charge to disperse the crowd.
Hundreds of commuters gathered at the Rajmahal square and gheraoed the on-duty police personnel in protest against the huge amount of challan being slapped on vehicle owners and drivers for violation of traffic rules. The amended MV Act came into effect on September 1.
The commuters alleged the authorities were not checking documents of government vehicles and their drivers were not being penalised for violations.
They also detained few Bhubaneswar Municipal Corporation (BMC) buses and the Odisha Police vehicles alleging they were openly flouting the norms.
They asked a police team, which was enforcing the Act, to produce relevant documents of the police vehicle.
“Rules should be equal for everyone, no matter who you are. While the government vehicles are flouting the traffic norms, the police are imposing fines on general commuters. Everything is fine with traffic laws, but sudden implementation of the MV Act has triggered panic,” alleged a commuter.
Police Commissioner Sudhanshu Sarangi along with other officials reached the spot to take stock of the situation. “We have not carried out any enforcement drive today. We understand the problems being faced by people. We are aware that it will take time and we are giving time to comply with necessary documents,” said Sarangi.
“We are looking into five things — three people riding a motorcycle, helmets, entry from the wrong side, drunken driving and use of mobile phone during driving,” he said.