Months after pussyfooting implementation of the amended Motor Vehicle Act (2019), the Telangana government may be forced to implement the tough law.
This follows the Union Law Ministrys advisory to states for implementing the law without tweaking the penal fee.
Amendments will ensure concurrence of the State governments while formulating the National Transport Policy and making schemes for national, multi-modal and inter-state transportation of goods and passengers by the Central government, says a note issued by the Ministry of Road Transport and Highways last month.
Telangana is among the few states that have not implemented the Central MV Act that became law on August 9, 2019.
Some states like Gujarat implemented the law by reducing the penal fees after an outcry by vehicle owners. The stiff penalties under the MV Act begin at 1,000.
Most states have baulked at implementing the amended Act citing high penalties and tough norms.
In the immediate aftermath of implementing the new law in Delhi and a few other states, there were viral videos of motorists abandoning vehicles after being caught and penalised hefty amounts.
The older MV Act 1988, which is still in force in Telangana, has a lower penal amount of 100. Adjusted for inflation, using Consumer Price Index data, the 100 of 1988 works out to be about 910.
For a few days during the Telangana State Road Transport Corporation strike, the State government invoked the MV Act as it gave leeway to states for improving urban transport and last mile connectivity. But after the RTC strike ended, there has been no word about the implementation of the new law. In September, the State government has issued a GO - 632 that enhanced penalties between 25,000 and 1 lakh and confiscation of heavy vehicles for transporting construction and building debris for multiple violations.
A few days before the new law was to be rolled out, the Telangana Police put up billboards advising motorists to save money by following the law. Later, the signages were quietly taken down.
We will implement the penalties once they are notified. It is all automated we dont have to know how much has it been enhanced or other such details, said a traffic police official.
Officials from Road Transport Authority were unavailable for comment.