Kerala MVD is infamous in country for their strict implementation of rules and regulations. They have seized and cancelled registration of several vehicles that were plying in the state with illegal modifications. This time around, they have stopped a group of international tourist who were travelling in caravans soon after they entered the state. The group was penalized for illegal modifications but, later they were let off after tourism minister for the state of Kerala intervened. The group had travelled 5 countries in caravan before entering India by road.
The video has been uploaded by Mathrubhumi News on their YouTube channel. As per the video report, the group of foreign tourists have been travelling in their caravans for some time. They were on a road trip and have visited several countries and various Indian states. The travelers are from Germany and Switzerland. The group consists of 33 people and they are travelling in 18 caravans. According to the report, the group was stopped by Motor Vehicle Department after they entered the state. The officers made the tourists wait for hours and they even issued fine for illegal modifications on the caravans. The group then got in touch with the tourism department office of the state and they were only let off after the tourism minister P.A. Mohammed Riyas intervened in this matter.
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It should be noted that the caravans that are seen here in the video are not officially sold in India and these caravans were all customised and modified according to the rules of their country and they were in the country only for a short period of time. These caravans are all registered in foreign countries and they are not registered in India. As per the report, Kerala MVD has issued Rs 10,000 fine for every caravan for illegal modifications. Later the department clarified that the amount collected was not a fine for illegal modifications but, it was a tax that owners of vehicles brought to Kerala from other countries for temporary use must pay as per the provisions of Finance Act 2018.
The group later met the Kerala State Tourism minister in Trivandrum. This behaviour from the Kerala MVD would actually discourage foreign tourists to visit the state in their caravans. Kerala state earier this year started a campaign to promote caravan tourism. They even set up tour plans and caravans parks in various parts of the states. Earlier this year, we had come across story of a Geraman couple who visited the state in their Mercedes-Benz truck. The couple explored state in their caravan and it was only after that the state started promoting caravan tourism. However, it looks like the Kerala MVD is not on the same page as tourism department.
No vehicle manufacturer in India officially sells caravans in India. The caravans that are in India are made by workshops and garages that make such projects. With Kerala MVD takin such action against caravans calling it illegal on the road would only make things harder for tourists visiting the state in their own caravans. After pandemic, the trend for caravans have increased in the country. people are preferring caravans or modifying their cars to ensure that they can travel to places without actually worrying about the accommodation.
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