Kerala: UDF accuses Vijayan government's AI camera project of corruption, calls it a big scam
The UDF traded allegations over the installation of AI cameras aimed at detecting traffic violations and reducing road accidents in the state. Responding to the opposition's allegation in the Assembly, LDF termed the allegation as irresponsible. The Congress has been leveling corruption allegations against the Safe Kerala project which included the installation of AI cameras to reduce road accidents and traffic violations.
The ruling LDF and Congress-led UDF in Kerala on Tuesday traded allegations over the installation of AI cameras aimed at detecting traffic violations and reducing road accidents in the state. The opposition raised questions as to why the project contract was awarded to state-owned electronics company Keltron even though it reportedly does not make any related components.
Responding to the opposition's allegation in the Assembly, the LDF hit back, terming the allegation as irresponsible and unfair and saying that the UDF had used the services of Keltron to install cameras across the state during its rule.
State Transport Minister Antony Raju and Industries Minister P Rajeev said it is a highly inappropriate and irresponsible statement by senior Congress MLA Thiruvanchoor Radhakrishnan that public sector undertaking (PSU) Kerala State Electronics Development Corporation Limited (Keltron) does not manufacture any components. Is.
The ministers argued that it was Radhakrishnan when he was the Home Minister in the previous UDF government, who had used the services of the PSU to install cameras across Kerala at a much higher cost than the AI camera project.
Raju also tried to remind that components made by Keltron were used in ISRO's Chandrayaan-3 and Aditya L1 missions. He said, "So please do not say that Keltron is just a mute spectator. You should be ready to withdraw your statement. Keltron is a source of pride for the state and the country."
Raju also denied the opposition's allegations in the House that the project was to be implemented on BOOT (build, own, operate, transfer) model as per the tender document, but was later changed to annuity mode.
He said the project document clearly stated that it was not a simple boot model as payments were to be made as per annuity mode. The minister also said that AI cameras have helped in reducing accidents and their resulting injuries and deaths as well as traffic violations in the state.
Raju argued that officials from other states like Tamil Nadu and Karnataka have come here to study the project to implement it. Raju also said that while Keltron set up the infrastructure and hired staff to operate the cameras and also operated them, the cameras are owned by the Department of Motor Vehicles.
The Congress has been leveling corruption allegations against the Safe Kerala project, which included the installation of AI cameras to reduce road accidents and traffic violations in the state, since its inauguration in April. The party also went to the Kerala High Court against the project.
The high court, while seeking the stand of the state, Keltron, and the private companies involved in the project, had said it was convinced that the PIL should be examined from the perspective of changing dynamics of the implementation of the project.
The court also directed the state government not to make any financial payment as part of the project without seeking clarification from it or until further orders.