The United Front of Transport Associations (UFTA) has confirmed that the transport union will go in strike on September 19th, (Thursday) in the Delhi region in protest of the new heft fines of the new Motor Vehicles Act 2019. The union claims that due to the economic slowdown, which has impacted the sector immensely, in addition to the new fines, operating has become difficult.
The union has stated it will go on a one-day token strike on Thursday. The strike will include all commercial vehicles – Truck, Bus, Tempo, Taxi, Maxi-Cabs, and Auto Rickshaws. The strike is against the exorbitant increase in penalties and limiting third party liability of insurance that have come into force with the new Motor Vehicles Act.
A union member speaking to Express Drives stated that due to the economic slowdown the fraternity is already struggling to find work and keep our businesses running. On top of which the new exorbitant increased fines are hampering our businesses. The union member stated that some of the companies and individuals are unable to pay their EMIs.
Additionally, the union also claims that the RFID tags that have been issued to all commercial vehicles, the owners and users are unable to recharge them online as servers of the government websites are down. Yet the trucks are fined double the amount of the toll tax that they are required to pay.
Another issue the Union brought into the light was the fact that under the new Act, the limitation of the liability of the insurer to the amount of Rs 5 lakh in case of a fatal accident. The Union claims that this will “devastate the transportation business”. A statement from the Union says that the insurance liability of the passenger or even students of school busses is limited to that amount while in the case of any excess amount which is to be paid is put on the vehicle owner. The union emphasises that the entire transport fraternity is vehemently protesting.
The union has stated that it will hold a strike on September 19, however, some members of the union claimed that they might go on strike indefinitely should the government not heed to their demands.
Rolling back on the new fines is something the Delhi Chief Minister, Arvind Kejriwal has confirmed the state government is currently evaluating. The state is said to be observing the impact of the new fines and if it finds them to be “inconvenient”, it will reduce the fines under the provisions it is allowed to under the new Motor Vehicle’s Act.