Over ₹59 crore charged as fine by AI camera-driven enforcement across Kerala

As per the disclosure made by the Transport Commissionerate in response to an RTI application it is unclear how much of the amount has been collected till now; there is also no information available on the amount spent on maintenance till March this year

Published - June 11, 2024 08:58 pm IST - KOCHI

A sum of ₹59.46 crore has been charged as fine by the authorities till March 31 this year with the help of Artificial Intelligence (AI)-driven cameras installed across Kerala for detecting traffic rule violations, while the government has so far spent only ₹9.40 crore on their installation.

However, it is unclear how much of it has been collected till now. This was disclosed by the Transport Commissionerate in response to a Right to Information (RTI) application filed by RTI activist Raju Vazhakkala.

Interestingly, the Kerala High Court had last year permitted the government to pay ₹11.79 crore to Keltron as the first installment of the contract to procure 726 AI-enabled cameras. This was followed by another direction by a Division Bench last month to pay the second installment of the amount due towards the expenses for installation and operation of cameras on or before June 11.

The payment was initially stalled following a case filed by Leader of the Opposition V.D. Satheesan and Congress leader Ramesh Chennithala alleging corruption in the AI-camera project, and demanding a probe supervised by the High Court.

Installing the 675 AI cameras complete with field processing units, solar power units, software, and five-year annual maintenance contract for five years would eventually cost the government ₹85.25 crore. Each camera cost in the range of ₹10.81 lakh to ₹11.16 lakh.

Thiruvananthapuram district topped the list in terms of fine with ₹7.19 crore followed by Malappuram with ₹6.34 crore, Kozhikode ₹5.69 crore, Ernakulam ₹5.26 crore, Thrissur ₹4.95 crore, Kollam ₹4.78 crore, Kannur ₹4.01 crore, Pathanamthitta ₹3.49 crore, Palakkad ₹3.43 crore, Alappuzha ₹3.40 crore, Kottayam ₹3.25 crore, Kasaragod ₹3.07 crore, Idukki ₹2.34 crore and Wayanad ₹2.19 crore.

Interestingly, no information was available on the amount spent on maintenance till March this year. Out of the 675 AI cameras installed, 668 cameras remain operational. Of this 82 were in Thiruvananthapuram, 60 each in Ernakulam and Kozhikode, 50 in Kollam, 48 in Malappuram, 47 in Kannur, 45 each in Thrissur and Kasaragod, 43 each in Pathanamthitta and Palakkad, 42 in Kottayam, 40 in Alappuzha, 37 in Idukki, and 26 in Wayanad.

Connectivity issue, cameras destroyed in road accidents, ongoing road works, natural calamity, activities of anti-social elements, and smart city operations were among the reasons cited for the dysfunctional cameras.

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