A section of private bus, minibus and taxi owners has urged the state government not to immediately implement the revised traffic fines as that would further hit their already ailing business.
In a letter to transport minister Firhad Hakim, representatives of six unions of private buses, minibuses, taxis and online cabs have written that the new fine structure should “not be implemented” and the government should consider some form of "financial support" for this sector so that the private transportation industry survived the onslaught of the pandemic-induced crisis.
On January 25, the state government had issued a revised chart with increased fine amounts for offences under the Motor Vehicles Act.
Officers of the rank of motor vehicles inspector and police officers not below the rank of sergeant and sub-inspector have been empowered to execute the order.
The fine for some of the offences has been increased 10-fold. The fine for speeding was Rs 500. It has been raised to Rs 5,000.
“How will we pay such steep amounts when we don’t have enough money to bring out our buses from garages after an overhaul?” asked Rahul Chatterjee of the All Bengal Bus Minibus Samannay Samity.
“The government must be aware of how buses across several routes have stopped plying because the business is no longer profitable. In such a situation, who can pay these hefty fines?”