Hardly 10% of CCTVs along highways, arterial roads in Kerala are functioning

MVD not having an annual maintenance contract with Keltron cited as one of the reasons for cameras falling into disuse

MVD not having an annual maintenance contract with Keltron cited as one of the reasons for cameras falling into disuse

Hardly 10% of the 240 CCTVs that were installed on highways and arterial roads in Kerala a decade ago are functioning, even as Artificial Intelligence-driven cameras are being installed to enforce speed limits and to detect traffic rule violations across the State as part of the Safe Kerala Project.

The Motor Vehicles department (MVD) not having entered into an annual maintenance contract (AMC) with Keltron has been cited as among the reasons for the old set of cameras falling into disuse over the years. The other reasons include snapping of cables, battery problems, network issues, and damage to components due to the 2018 floods, highway-widening work, and slack upkeep.

The dysfunctional cameras were initially a deterrent to motorists who exceeded speed limits and indulged in other traffic rule violations.

Official sources said around 100 of the 240 cameras could be restored. “More could have been set right, had they been in constant use. But many years of continuous disuse has damaged their components, including batteries. An AMC agreement would have averted the crisis,” they added.

Global bid

Meanwhile, demand is rife that global bids be invited to install state-of-the-art cameras at competitive rates, since Kerala has over 1.3 crore vehicles and a high accident rate that claims over 4,000 lives each year. Over the years, concerns had also been raised about suppliers of different components of the CCTV network.

With almost all cameras that were installed over a decade ago dysfunctional, the government is losing out on revenue from the penalty amounts that range from an average of ₹1,500 per rule violation.

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