In the last couple of weeks, we have been receiving reports from Kerala regarding the battle between KSEB and MVD. The AI camera dispute between these two government departments began after MVD issued a challan of Rs 20,500 to a KSEB jeep that was carrying a picker pole on the roof. In response to the challan, KSEB disconnected the electricity supply to the enforcement office that had issued the challan. This occurred a couple more times, and KSEB started cutting connections to MVD offices in different parts of the state. For the past couple of days, everything seemed calm; however, MVD has now fined KSEB workers who were not wearing helmets while riding motorcycles.
The video has been uploaded by Manorama News on their YouTube channel. The incident took place in Mannarkkad, Palakkad district, Kerala. MVD officers fined KSEB workers who were riding motorcycles without proper helmets. The KSEB workers were on duty when MVD stopped them. The workers were actually wearing yellow safety helmets, which they typically wear when climbing up electricity poles for maintenance. However, these helmets are of no use while riding motorcycles and do not provide any safety for the person on a two-wheeler.
The MVD officers stopped the KSEB workers who were using a private vehicle while on duty. Upon inspection, the officers also discovered that the vehicle’s insurance had expired. The report mentions that MVD officers fined the workers for both offenses. The MVD issued a fine of Rs 2,000 for the expired insurance and Rs 500 each for not wearing proper riding helmets. The MVD officers were simply doing their job, and it remains to be seen how the KSEB department in this area will respond to this action.
The KSEB department had previously disconnected electricity supply to the enforcement RTO building in Wayanad, Kannur, and Kasargod districts. The electricity department removed the fuses from the offices due to pending electricity bills. The connection was immediately restored after the offices paid their dues. There were reports suggesting that the actual cause of the conflict between these two departments is the failure of KSEB officials to wear proper riding helmets while working in the field. They often use yellow industrial safety helmets, which is a violation when riding a two-wheeler. We hope the electricity department instructs its workers to wear proper riding helmets while riding motorcycles on duty or otherwise.
The AI cameras installed on Kerala roads have become a controversial topic since their implementation. The AI camera system still has several glitches and cannot record many violations accurately. It even issues incorrect fines to road users. To avoid mistakes, the Motor Vehicles Department has now stationed AMVIs at control rooms in every district to monitor the operation of AI cameras. Emergency vehicles and the minister’s convoy have already been excluded from the cameras, which once again sparked criticism from the public. A total of 726 AI cameras have been installed in various parts of the state. The state has allocated over Rs. 232 crore from the funds of the Kerala Road Traffic Authority for this project.