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Kolkata: After the transport minister, now Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee has clarified that the Motor Vehicles (Amendment) Act will not be implemented in Bengal.

During a news conference at state secretariat Nabanna today 11 September afternoon, the Chief Minister said her government is not in favour of the exorbitant amount of fine that the new Act enacted by the Centre provides for.

“Our officers are of the view that enforcing the Act will increase the burden on common people. I am not in favour of burdening the masses and hence, we are unable to implement the Act it right away,” she said.

Banerjee said that the Centre got the new legislation passed without paying heed to the objections flagged by the opposition. “My party has been vocal against this from the beginning.”

The Motor Vehicles (Amendment) Bill, 2019 was cleared by both houses of the Parliament in July and the Union ministry of road transport and highways notified this as an Act in August. The states are supposed to enforce it from 1 September.

Some states like Delhi, Gujarat, etc. have enforced the Act that provides for a fine of Rs 1,000 for over speeding, Rs 2,000 for driving without putting on seat belts, Rs 5,000 for driving without a licence and Rs 10,000 for drunk driving.

But the Bengal transport minister told the Assembly on 27 August itself that the amended Act will not be implemented in Bengal. The state will rather continue to follow provisions of old the Motor Vehicles Act 1988.

In Bengal’s neighbouring state Odisha, violent protest erupted after the state implanted the amended Act and slapped huge fines on a few violators. The protest has compelled Odisha government kept the new Act in abeyance for now.

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