Public transport drivers strike in Delhi over higher fines

Public transport drivers strike in Delhi over higher fines
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Passengers wait for transportation during a public transport strike in New Delhi, India, Thursday, Sept. 19, 2019. (AP)
Public transport drivers strike in Delhi over higher fines
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An auto-rickshaw driver rests during a public transport strike in New Delhi, India, Thursday, Sept. 19, 2019. (AP)
Public transport drivers strike in Delhi over higher fines
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A crow flies over Delhi's skyline as rows of auto-rickshaws and taxis parked during a public transport strike in New Delhi, India, Thursday, Sept. 19, 2019. (AP)
Updated 19 September 2019

Public transport drivers strike in Delhi over higher fines

Public transport drivers strike in Delhi over higher fines
  • The United Front of Transport Associations called for the strike in New Delhi to protest the higher fines which took effect Sept. 1
  • Under the new law, the minimum penalty has been increased from $1.40 to $7

NEW DELHI: Commuters in India’s capital faced difficulties Thursday as much of the city’s public transportation, including private buses, auto-rickshaws and some ride-hailing services, remained off the roads to protest a sharp increase in traffic fines under a new law.
The government hopes the new Motor Vehicles Act will bring order to India’s chaotic roads with an almost tenfold increase in fines for traffic offenses.
The United Front of Transport Associations called for the strike in New Delhi to protest the higher fines, which took effect Sept. 1 as economic growth in India has slumped to a six-year low.
The minister for road transport and highways, Nitin Gadkari, says the increase in fines is needed to improve the appalling safety record of India’s roads, where more than 100,000 people are killed and nearly 500,000 injured in accidents every year.
Under the new law, the minimum penalty has been increased from $1.40 to $7. The penalty for driving without a license has risen from $14 to $70.
Traffic police across the country have taken to social media to educate citizens about the new rules. But many Indians are critical of the new law. Some posted pictures on Twitter of huge potholes on roads and asked what the government was doing to fix them.


Hong Kong records 107 new COVID-19 cases in latest spike

Hong Kong records 107 new COVID-19 cases in latest spike
Updated 18 January 2021

Hong Kong records 107 new COVID-19 cases in latest spike

Hong Kong records 107 new COVID-19 cases in latest spike
  • The Chinese special administrative region last recorded a triple digit figure on Dec. 19 with 109 cases

HONG KONG: Hong Kong reported 107 new coronavirus cases on Monday, the highest toll in nearly a month as authorities tested thousands of residents after an outbreak in an old residential building located in a busy commercial and residential area last week.
The Chinese special administrative region last recorded a triple digit figure on Dec. 19 with 109 cases. At its peak in July 2020 the city logged 149 new infections.
Dozens of infections were found last week in a densely packed apartment building in Yau Tsim Mong, a teeming district in the city’s Kowloon area.
Authorities thereafter ordered mandatory testing on hundreds of people living in the area and neighboring streets.
Hong Kong has recorded nearly 10,000 coronavirus cases and 162 deaths since the start of 2020.
Businesses are reeling from ongoing COVID-19 restrictions which have banned gatherings of more than two people and closed sport facilities, beauty salons and all restaurants for dining after 18:00 local time.