Commuters in Delhi-NCR faced harrowing time on Thursday in the wake of the transport strike called by United Front of Transport Associations (UFTA) in protest against the exorbitantly hefty penalties imposed by the Central Government for violation of traffic rules under the amended Motor Vehicles Act.
In response to the strike call, private and commercial vehicles remained off the road from 6 am to 9.30 pm.
CitySpidey spoke to a few residents of Gautam Budh Nagar about the strike and whether they consider it a good way to protest. Debi Prasad, a resident of La Residentia society in Greater Noida, called the strike unfair and uncalled for and said the citizens should carry the mandatory documents to avoid any penalty.
“It is important to carry mandatory papers like registration certificate, driving license, insurance, PUC certificate while on roads,” she said, adding, “If we obey the rules, there is little chances of penalties being levied from us. Traffic rules are for our safety. I have observed that the very people who don't follow traffic rules in India abide by them while abroad. This happens because of the fear of heavy penalties in foreign countries.”
Lately, several cases of dual challan came up after the amended Act came into force. In one instance, a man was issued two challans in a matter of a minute.
Another La residential resident, Manoj Negi said, “The basic reason for this strike is the incremental penalties. Instead of welcoming the stance of the government, their action of calling the strike is really a matter of concern. It simply does portrays a grim picture of our transporters, who are in the business of carrying lives of people everyday.”
Anyone, who travels on the Noida Expressway, can easily see commercial vehicles carrying more than ten passengers. They violate the rules frequently by overspeeding. It puts lives of people at risk.
Sharad Mehta, another respondent from Sector 16B in Greater Noida, said, “The rule is simple, if you don’t want a challan, don't break the law. What is the point in a strike that troubles the public.”
Although the commercial vehicles did not ply on roads, it still created traffic jams because of the haphazard manner in which they park their vehicles on the roads.
On top of it, people were also hassled by those participating in the agitation. At some places, people were forced to get down of the vehicles mid-way. They had no option but to walk to their destinations.
Prashant Jha, a physiotherapist, posted a video on Facebook alleging that he was taking an Ola ride in Delhi and just 100 meters ahead, it was stopped by the protesters. Then, protesters asked the driver for his mobile and canceled the drive. Prashant was asked to get down.
It was not the only incident. Several such cases were reported from the national capital region on social media website Twitter. Gaurav Gupta, a resident of Saya Zion in Greater Noida said, “Going on strike is not a solution. They should try other ways.”
While many disagreed to the protest, there were also people who were supporting it. Brijesh Sharma, a resident of Antriksh Golf View-2 in Noida supporting the strike said, “The authority cannot impose a higher fine overnight, this is not a south Indian movie. They should first provide basics like proper roads, street lights, camera for security and then impose fine when someone violates the law.”
Talking to CitySpidey, Abhishek Chauhan, a resident of La residential said, “The strike is fair as the traffic police has been harassing people after it came into effect”.
Notably, after reports of misuse of new traffic regulations, Uttar Pradesh traffic department circulated a notice for all its officials on September 12 asking them not to stop vehicles just to check papers.