Dearth of squad vehicles affects drive against traffic violations in Kerala

Eight enforcement squads of the Thiruvananthapuram transport office will intensify drive against traffic violations as the transport department has decided to restart the campaign on Road Safety Action Plan from Tuesday. But, only five squads will be able to conduct vehicle checks at a time due to dearth of squad vehicles.

The strengthening of enforcement wing of the motor vehicles department (MVD) was proposed as part of the Safe Kerala project to curb the number of accidents and the project was launched in March. 

Even after six-months, the department was not able to purchase the required number of vehicles and equipment required for the drive. The action plan, which was started in first week of August, was suspended later due to floods.

Over 24 assistant motor vehicle inspectors (MVIs) were deployed by MVD to form the eight squads. Round-the-clock presence of MVD enforcement squads at various locations was proposed as a measure to control traffic violations. The unavailability of vehicles remain a major hurdle as a group of MVIs could not be assigned patrolling duty. 

According to transport minister A K Saseendran, there is procedural delay in purchase of vehicles and direction has been given to expedite the tender process.

“The enforcement squad requires more vehicles. The vehicles should be procured through centralized tender system only and this led to procedural delay,” said Saseendran.

MVD had proposed to purchase vehicles on wet-lease basis. Also, works to setup a control room in Thiruvananthapuram for Safe Kerala project are in progress. A few months ago, the government had sanctioned the proposal to setup a control room at Transport Bhavan, East Fort, and the infrastructure facilities are being readied.