MVD hamstrung by ‘inadequate’ delegation of powers

Personnel of the Motor Vehicles Department (MVD) say they are hamstrung while enforcing traffic safety norms, since they need the concurrence of the Road Safety Authority (RSA) to initiate action against many rule violations that endanger road users.

Earlier this month, the MVD had deployed squads to remove unauthorised advertisement boards, others that distracted drivers, and materials like construction debris on roads that hampered the safe movement of vehicles, based primarily on complaints received from the public.

“We are receiving reasonably good feedback from the public over phone and by e-mail with photographs. Cases are being registered, and details are submitted to the RSA after our field officers conduct an inquiry. This cumbersome process can be avoided if enforcement personnel are delegated powers by the RSA / Road Safety Commissioner [RSC] to take action,” said a senior MVD official.

“Many complaints are about bad condition of roads, which is under the purview of the PWD or civic agencies. But the MVD can take action against instances like contractors erecting flood lights at work sites facing oncoming traffic, disrupting drivers’ vision. There have been instances of drivers unknowingly ramming vehicles on others due to this. In most cases, rule violators adhere to our directions and remove such hazards. Else, the concurrence of the RSA is needed,” sources said.

They attributed it to the delay in amending many provisions of the Kerala RSA Act. Such powers must be delegated to enforcement agencies like the MVD and the police to ensure prompt action. Similarly, road safety funds worth a few hundred crores are idling due to inadequate coordination between the RSA and enforcement agencies.

The Kochi Metropolitan Transport Authority (KMTA), which was constituted in November 2020, too is facing a similar predicament, since it has to knock at the doors of the Finance Department to get adequate funds and personnel, although it was created as an autonomous agency. The agency too needs functional autonomy to execute its projects, sources said.

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Printable version | Aug 4, 2021 10:40:04 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Kochi/mvd-hamstrung-by-inadequate-delegation-of-powers/article34833016.ece

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