A transport strike call on Thursday against the amended Motor Vehicles Act (MVA), 2019 in Delhi and the adjoining National Capital Region (NCR) areas has affected the commuters badly as cabs, auto-rickshaws and private buses remained off the roads.
The call for the strike had been given by the United Front of Transport Associations (UFTA) — an umbrella body of over 50 unions in Delhi-NCR — against the steep penalties under the amended MVA.
The strike has especially affected office-goers in Delhi-NCR as several private buses, taxis and autorickshaws remained off the roads due to a strike called by the UFTA.
Meanwhile, in view of the strike, several schools in the national capital remained closed.
The transport services will remain affected till 10 pm on Thursday.
However, the services of Delhi Metro and Delhi Transport Corporation (DTC) buses remained unaffected, easing the pain of commuters.
The UFTA has blamed the BJP-led Centre and the AAP-led Delhi government for the strike.
“We have been seeking redressal of our grievances related to the new MV Act from both the Centre and the Delhi government for the last 15 days, but no solution is there in sight, thus forcing us to go for the one-day strike,” said UFTA General Secretary Shyamlal Gola.
Delhi suburb towns like Noida and Faridabad were also affected by the transport strike.
The Parliament in July passed the Motor Vehicles (Amendment) Bill, 2019, which seeks to tighten road traffic regulations such as the issuance of driving licence and imposed stricter penalties for violations in an attempt to improve road safety.
Under the new law, people not wearing helmets or seat-belts will be fined Rs 1,000, which was Rs 100 earlier, while those driving without a licence can be fined Rs 5,000 or face three-month jail.
The new law allows the central government to order for recall of motor vehicles if a defect in the vehicle may cause damage to the environment, or the driver, or other road users.
Huge fines for traffic violations have been criticised by BJP and non-BJP-ruled states. However, Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal has this time backed the Centre on the move saying that Delhi’s traffic has improved because of the new rules.