Enforcement of Motor Vehicle rules and other regulations in the state should not be a source to extract money from the road users, Minister for Transport, Jose Thettayil, has said.

Enforcement has opened new vistas to extract money and it has become part of the culture. That should be curbed, Mr. Thettayil said while inaugurating a two-day workshop on Transportation of Hazardous chemicals organized by the Kerala State Productivity Council at the Mascot convention centre on Wednesday. Admitting that there is no enforcement of rules by the concerned agencies in transporting hazardous chemicals even after the Karunagapally LPG tanker tragedy in December last, the Minister said he is taking the challenge and is accepting it.

The loss of several human lives took place after the tanker lorry turned turtle and it should have opened our eyes. Mr. Thettayil said enforcement of rules like the one pertaining to helmet and seat belt was difficult in the State. Once the agencies start enforcing it, road users and the citizens vent their ire against the police and the Motor Vehicle Department personnel. Zebra lines are given scant respect, traffic signals are flouted and horns are misused rampantly in the State. It has become part of the culture and concerted effort is needed for changing it, he said.

Presiding over the function, the Chairman of the Council, S. Jayathilakan said political will and determination on the part of the officials is needed for enforcing the rules in the State.

Special Secretary to Chief Minister, M. P. Sukumaran Nair, ADGP ( Kerala police head quarters) K. S. Jangpangi, Head, Disaster Management Centre, K. G. Thara, Convenor of the Council, K. M. Amanulla were among those who spoke.

Earlier, in his presentation, Harsh Panday, Consultant, Union Ministry of Environment and Forests, said the Government is not enforcing the rules pertaining to transport of hazardous chemicals. He also sought a mechanism to review the fitness of vehicles transporting hazardous chemicals once it is involved in accidents.

Often the trained and qualified drivers take the vehicles to the bottling plants and fill the tankers. Later, they handover the tankers to non-qualified drivers who take them risking the lives of citizens.

Basic and constant training is needed for the drivers and half of the problems can be solved with this, Mr. Panday said.