Kerala transport minister warns officials trying to derail MVD online services

“E-governance will be rolled out in the department as planned to reduce procedural hassles and eradicate corruption”

“E-governance will be rolled out in the department as planned to reduce procedural hassles and eradicate corruption”

A section of Motor Vehicle Department (MVD) officials are trying to scuttle online systems meant to deliver services quickly without the involvement of officers, Transport Minister Antony Raju said.

E-governance will be deployed as planned, to reduce procedural hassles and eradicate corruption. Unscrupulous officials who try to derail it will be shown their place. Members of the public have the “right to service” and civil servants, on whose salaries much of the revenue is spent, must do justice to their duty. Unfortunately, some officials prefer to be rude and adopt stalling tactics, he said. The Minister was inaugurating the 54th State Meeting of the Association of Kerala MVD Gazetted Officers here on Saturday.

AI-enabled cameras

Of the 725 cameras equipped with artificial intelligence that will soon be operational in Kerala, Mr. Raju said that this will ensure objective/impartial enforcement of the rules, as violations of traffic rules by anyone, regardless of status, will automatically result in a sanction. The system will also help notify rule breakers of the offense with evidence. Additionally, dashcams are popularized in vehicles to help determine the cause of accidents. It was one of those dash cam images from a vehicle that brought to light what at first glance appears to be a KSRTC bus swerving to one side, killing two bikers in Palakkad over a month ago. The 116 new KSRTC Swift buses will have (dual) dashcams, he said.

The minister urged MVD staff to be proactive in preventing road accidents as they have details of black spots in the state. They must also act in tandem with the police and agencies like the Public Works Department (PWD). Mr. Raju further referred to two decisions the government had taken to boost the morale of MVD staff – to ensure that only uniformed/technically qualified staff were assigned as joint motor vehicle inspectors and RTOs (on the basis of a 2019 directive from the Supreme Court Road Safety Commission) and to reinstate the Asoka Sthambham into their uniform. He further said that action against officials would now only be taken on the basis of investigations, following vested interests often filing complaints against officials of high integrity.

The association’s general secretary, AS Vinod, said floaters of freight carriers and others often go on the offensive against MVD officials when the latter take action against overloading. He pointed out how a section of officials were trying to derail efforts to implement online services in the department. Their purpose is to improperly assist agents who charge a premium, he added.

Jebi Cherian, president of the association, and Ashfaq Ahmed, president of the All India Federation of MVD Technical Executive Officers’ Association spoke on this occasion.

Veronica J. Snell