Kerala Congress on Tuesday alleged that the Pinarayi Vijayan led Left Democratic Front (LDF) government has outsourced a private company for the job of monitoring traffic violations and for collecting penalty at a cost of Rs 180 crore. Leader of Opposition Ramesh Chennithala informed that the state government had signed a deal with Meditronix under which the company will install 480 cameras on roads to nab traffic violators.
Chennithala informed that a committee, led by top police officers decided to allow the private company to collect traffic fines and this is the first time in the country that collection of penalty for traffic offenses is being handed over to the private sector. The details of the deal were revealed in the Comptroller and Auditor General of India (CAG) report last week.
Chennithala further said that the deal has been offered through a tendering process where two state public sector undertakings Keltron and SIDCO participated. The later SIDCO had quoted a 60:40 share (60 percent of the collected fine to go to SIDCO and 40 percent to the state government). However, the contract was given to Meditronix that will transfer only 10 percent to the government. The company Galaxon caught in the CAG audit is suspected to be behind this contract, Chennithala added.
The leader of opposition also demanded a Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) probe into the deal and said Galaxon must be kicked out of the state police headquarters. Kerala Congress chief Mullapally Ramachandran also said the party would stage protests on March 7 at all police stations, demanding CBI probe into the CAG revelations.
The Congress leader also criticized the Chief Minister for keeping quiet on this issue and the other corrupt deals. Vijayan who is an accused in the SNC Lavalin case had maintained silence then and is keeping quiet now as a new scam has hit the police department, headed by Vijayan.
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.