The government on Thursday told the state legislative assembly that it will review the controversial traffic sentinel scheme as legislators cutting across the party lines strongly opposed the scheme, demanding that either it be scrapped or kept in abeyance.
Raising strong objections to the scheme, Deputy Speaker Michael Lobo called the scheme illegal, seeking its withdrawal.
Earlier Opposition leader Chandrakant Kavlekar and BJP MLA Glen Ticlo moved a calling attention motion demanding scrapping of the scheme.
The scheme, which aims to bring about discipline on roads, has evoked angry reactions from the people and has created law and order situations.
Lobo claimed that many people under the guise of traffic sentinels take photographs of girls living in coastal villages. The unscrupulous people then trade in the photographs for the purpose of flesh trade.
The BJP MLA from Calangute said the scheme intrudes into the privacy of individuals, which is guaranteed by the Indian Constitution.
“The scheme has been approved by the cabinet. But the people think that we MLAs are responsible for it,” he observed, asking the government to put the roads in order first.
Transport Minister Ramakrishna ‘Sudin’ Dhavalikar said the government will review the scheme as demanded by the members of the House.
Supporting the scheme, he said that it was introduced as it had been found that police enforcement failed to bring about traffic discipline on Goan roads.
He pointed out that 75 per cent of the road fatalities occur due to non-wearing of helmet, adding
that efforts are being made to bring down the number of road accidents and fatalities.
Affirming that the scheme has been misused by the sentinels, Kavlekar said that people have been angered by the sentinels taking photographs of the motorists.
Kavlekar demanded that the scheme must be kept on hold.
Congress MLA Digambar Kamat asked the government whether the police can outsource its functioning, asserting that due to the faulty scheme the legislators have been bearing the brunt of the public ire.
Curtorim MLA of Congress Alexio Reginaldo Lourenco alleged that the misuse of the scheme testifies to the collapse of administration, urging the government to respect the sentiments of the people.
Former chief minister Pratapsing Rane said that as we are in a democratic country everything should be transparent.
It is not right to take photographs of a traffic violator by hiding oneself.
However, Town and Country Planning Minister Vijai Sardesai rallied behind the initiative, saying that the scheme helps bring down traffic violations.
He said that installations like CCTV cameras along the roads could keep an eye on traffic violators and will serve the objectives of the traffic sentinel scheme.
Other legislators like Churchill Alemao, Ticlo, Filipe Nery Rodrigues, Isidore Fernandes and Ravi Naik also demanded the immediate scrapping of the scheme.
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