Centre’s Road Safety Bill draws flak

All India Road Transport Workers Federation national general secretary K.K. Diwakaran speaing at general council meeting of the federation in Vijayawada on Tuesday. - PHOTO: V. RAJU  

Even as the Modi government’s first major bill- the Road Transport and Safety Bill 2014-- has been put in public domain to invite people’s suggestions, leaders of All India Road Transport Workers Federation (AIRTWF) have raised a voice of dissent against the proposed law, saying that it was unrealistic.

The national general council of the Federation which met in the city on Tuesday, resolved to build up a movement to start nation-wide jathas to oppose the move, in October.

The Draft Bill proposes heavy penalties for traffic violations. It envisages penalties up to Rs. 3 lakh along with a minimum 7-year imprisonment that can be given for the death of a child in certain circumstances. A fine of Rs. 5 lakh per vehicle as well as imprisonment has also been proposed for faulty manufacturing design, besides cancellation of licences for rash and negligent driving.

“The government approach is anything but realistic. Without assessing ground realities, it is trying to ape the developed nations. In India, we have very bad roads resulting in high number of accidents. Most buses are built on lorry chassis here. Moreover, we are still backward in implementation of latest technology. Transport drivers are being viewed as criminals,” said K.K. Diwakaran, national general secretary of the Federation.

Road safety authority

The Federation is also opposed to the proposed deployment of a Road Safety Authority at the State and the national level. “The Central Government, through the new law, will take over the motor vehicle taxation which is at present within the State purview,” he said.

The Federation said it would approach other Central trade unions to form a common platform and agitate against the proposed Bill. It also resolved to pool up funds for flood victims of Jammu and Kashmir and organise a three-day national workshop in the third week of November in Patna.

Those who attended the meeting included the Federation’s vice-presidents for Tamil Nadu and Punjab Anbalagan and Sucha Singh respectively, Ramasray Yadav (secretary, Haryana), T.K. Rajan (secretary, Kerala) and Rajkumar Jha (vice-president, Bihar).

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Printable version | Jun 20, 2021 5:17:58 AM |

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