Mumbai, April 24: Maharashtra government is planning to formulate a separate law for the state on the lines of the Centre's Motor Vehicles Act, which will allow it to take action against those who flout transport rules.
If Maharashtra succeeds in enacting such a law, it would become the first state in the country to have its own Transport Act.
The law will give powers to the state government to take action against school buses ferrying more than the stipulated number of children at a time, and trucks carrying excessive load of goods.
"The Central government's Motor Vehicles Act has several clauses that could be used against errant drivers of large vehicles. But these drivers get away finding loopholes in the Act," state Transport minister Diwakar Raote told reporters.
"While replying to a question during the Assembly session, I realised that we do not have an Act of our own. I have consulted the Law secretary and he has given an opinion that the state can have its own Transport Act. We have started working towards formulating the law. If we succeed, we will be the first state in the country to do so," Raote said.
Currently, the Central government's Motor Vehicle Act-1958 is applicable all over the country.
No state has its own Transport Act. The minister said that he felt the need to formulate a separate Act because the current rules are not stringent.
"I want people to respect the signal at zebra crossing. We will also restrict the number of students to be carried in auto-rickshaw and buses and the weight carried in a truck," he said.
There are several rules in this regard but they are not followed religiously. If they are formulated as an Act, we will get more power to punish the offenders," he said.
Raote, however, clarified that the purpose behind the Act is not to punish people, but to have a discipline in the system.
"I have started consultations with the department officials. It might take about two years to prepare a draft of the Act," he said.
The Maharashtra government's move is significant in the backdrop of the ongoing tussle between the Union Transport Ministry and the National Green Tribunal (NGT) over several restrictions on old vehicles.
According to Supreme Court guidelines, no new vehicle should be registered unless there is a parking space for it.
The order will affect the new registration of vehicles and subsequently the state's revenue through it, which runs into several crores, Raote said.
The minister also said that his department will file a review petition against the SC order on vehicle registration.