New Delhi: Schools in Delhi and the adjoining National Capital Region will be shut Thursday as transport unions have called for a strike to protest against the hefty fines imposed under the new Motor Vehicles Act. Schools have sent an advisory to parents informing them of the holiday.
More than 30 transport associations and unions, including United Front of Transport Associations and All India Motor Transport Congress, have called for a one-day strike tomorrow against different provisions of the amended MV Act. Business has been soft for the commercial operators lately as, amid an economic slowdown, the companies have cut back on production and retrenched staff.
The strike is a protest against the exorbitant increase in penalties and limiting third party liability of insurance that have come into force with the new Motor Vehicles Act.
Large number of auto rickshaws, taxis, Ola & Uber cabs and commercial bus operators ferrying students to and from schools will remain off the roads in Delhi-NCR on 19 September.
Air Asia India issued a travel advisory as well on Twitter by saying, "Cab services will be impacted due to transport strike in Delhi-NCR on September 19, 2019. We request you to plan your commute to the airport accordingly to avoid any inconvenience. Our check-in counters open 2hrs prior and close 45mins prior to your flight."
Some states, bowing to public pressure and vested interests, have already diluted some provisions of the Act and cut the penalties. Some are yet to notify the new rules. In Delhi, the Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal, while mostly welcoming the new Act, which inarguably has brought discipline on the capital’s roads, has promised to look into issues that disturb the people.
Hundreds of drivers and commercial vehicle owners gathered around Noida Stadium on Monday and announced their decision to support the strike call on Thursday.
The new law seeks to tighten traffic regulations and impose steep penalties for violations of traffic rules and there have been several instance in the past few days of people ferrying commercial vehicles coughing up much more in penalties than they usually do.
Recently, the driver and the owner of a truck were slapped a total fine of over ₹2 lakh in the national capital, perhaps the highest in the country so far, for various offences under the tweaked Motor Vehicles Act, including overloading and driving without a proper licence, a Delhi Transport Department official said.
The truck, having a Haryana registration number, was challaned by an enforcement team of Transport Department on the GT Karnal Road on Wednesday evening, the official said.