Mumbaikars feel reasonable restrictions on mobile phone needed

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Mumbai, Sep 17 (UNI) Senior BJP leader Venkaiah Naidu today said most people of the city have welcomed the suggestion to impose reasonable restrictions on the use of mobile phones at public places rather than a ban.

Addressing a news conference here after holding a hearing on usage of mobile phones in public places, Mr Naidu said most people agreed with the petitioner's view that mobile phones caused nuisance especially in schools, hospitals and religious places. There was almost consensus on banning the use of mobile phones while driving.

The hearing was organised by the Rajya Sabha Committee on petitions, headed by Mr Naidu, who is looking into a petition filed by Gurjeet Singh, an advocate from Patiala in Punjab.

He has sought certain restrictions to be imposed on the use of mobile phones at public places such as schools, colleges, hospitals, religious places, cremation and burial grounds and most importantly, while driving.

He cited a study conducted by the John Hopkins University, US, wherein it was established that the brain cannot handle sight and sound simultaneously and use of mobile phones while driving increased the likelihood of accidents.

Mr Naidu said there was a need to amend the Motor Vehicles Act to make the punishment more stringent. The present fine of Rs 100 is hardly a deterrent, he observed.

A cross-section of population comprising teachers, students, parents, government officials, religious leaders as well as law enforcers made their submissions before the 10-member Committee. The Cellular Phones Operators Federation of India also made a presentation before the Committee.

Yesterday, the Committee heard another petition submitted by former Petroleum minister Ram Naik and others on empowerment of leprosy-affected people. The committee also visited a Leprosy rehabilitation centre in Borivali.

The petitioners have sought amendment to several acts, including the Indian Railways Act, Hindu and other marriage acts. They have also demanded better rehabilitation packages for leprosy cured people.

The Committee will submit its recommendations to Parliament, which will later debate these issues and enact suitable legislations or carry out amendments to the existing legislations.

UNI JM SSS SW HS1659

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