State cabinet gives nod to abolish traffic sentinel scheme

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Panaji: The state cabinet on Wednesday cleared the Goa Municipal Amendment Bill 2021 to increase wards of class ‘B’ municipal councils in the state.

Briefing media after the cabinet meeting, Chief Minister Pramod Sawant said the Bill will be tabled in the upcoming assembly session. The Chief Minister also said the cabinet has granted approval to discontinue the Goa Traffic Sentinel scheme.

“We have observed that there were fights among people due to the Goa Traffic Sentinel scheme. Some people were registered on multiple occasions under the scheme. Using a mobile phone and recording videos on roads had become a ‘business’ of many people under this particular scheme. Thus, we have decided to discontinue the scheme,” Sawant said, adding that the pending amount under the scheme, which is approximately Rs 20 lakh, would be released soon by the government.

The state cabinet also cleared the Goa Lokayukta Amendment Bill so as to make retired High Court judges also eligible for the post of Lokayukta of Goa. The post of Goa Lokayukta fell vacant after Justice (retired) P K Misra retired in September 2020. The decision comes a day after the High Court of Bombay at Goa, while hearing a petition, instructed the state government to appoint the new Lokayukta in two months. The Chief Minister said the Goa Lokayukta Amendment Bill will be passed in the upcoming assembly session.

The cabinet also approved the Goa Staff Selection Commission Amendment Bill 2021. The amendment to the Goa Staff Selection Commission proposes to empower departments to hold exams to select candidates for subordinate posts with prior permission from the personnel department. This amendment will remain in force for two years.

The Chief Minister said implementation of the amended Motor Vehicle Act did not come up for discussion during the cabinet meeting. “We are having a discussion on the amended Motor Vehicle Act. We will implement the Act after taking the stakeholders into confidence,” he said.

Sawant said there is a need to educate people about traffic rules to bring in discipline on roads with regard to safety and the government is trying to accomplish this through the education system. He also lauded the contribution of MARG, an organisation led by freedom fighter late Gurunath Kelekar, towards road safety.