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Kerala firm to monitor traffic violations, Cong cries foul

Tuesday - February 18, 2020 6:18 pm , Category : INDIA
Thiruvananthapuram, Feb 18 (IANS) Leader of opposition in Kerala Ramesh Chennithala here on Tuesday alleged that the Pinarayi Vijayan-led Left Democratic Front (LDF) government had outsourced the job of monitoring traffic violations and collection of penalty to a private company at the cost of Rs 180 crore.
According to Chennithala, the government had signed a deal with Meditronix under which the company will install 480 cameras on roads to catch traffic violators and the police will help it collect penalties.
"A committee, led by top police officers, decided to allow the private company to collect traffic fines. It's the first time in the country that collection of penalty for traffic offences is being handed over to the private sector.
"Had it not been for the CAG revelations last week, the state police chief would have inked the contract and handed it over to a private company," said Chennithala.
The deal has been offered through a tendering process where two state public sector undertakings -- Keltron and SIDCO -- participated.
"While SIDCO had quoted a 60:40 share (60 per cent of the collected fine to go to SIDCO and 40 per cent to the state government), Meditronix was given the contract even though it will transfer only 10 per cent to the government. It's being suspected that Galaxon, the company 'caught' in the CAG audit, is behind this contract," Chennithala said.
The Congress leader said the Chief Minister was keeping mum on this as well as other corrupt deals. "Vijayan, an accused in the SNC Lavalin case, had maintained stoic silence then and is keeping mum now as a new scam has hit the police department, which is headed by Vijayan," said Chennithala.
Demanding a Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) probe into it, he said Galaxon must be kicked out of the state police headquarters.
Kerala Congress chief Mullapally Ramachandran said the party would stage protests on March 7 at all police stations, demanding CBI probe into the CAG revelations.
The CAG report for 2013-18, tabled in the Assembly on Wednesday, pointed to missing guns and cartridges, misuse and diversion of funds and blamed state police chief Loknath Behra for it. It also pointed to alleged collusion between Keltron, a state public sector company, and the police in purchases made by the latter.

--IANS sg/pcj