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According to PTI (1), the opposition party, Congress, accused the party in power of a lack of transparency and corruption in implementing the Kerala government's AI camera project and asked the information to be made public, stating the scheme was "shrouded in mystery."
In a letter to CM Pinarayi Vijayan (2), Leader of the Opposition in the Assembly VD Satheesan alleged that no information about the contract and agreement between the Transport Department and KELTRON, as well as the tender, was available in the public domain.
According to Satheesan, the AI Cameras were bought at costs higher than the average market price. There was no openness in the company selection process or KELTRON's choice of installing cameras as part of the "Safe Kerala" initiative (3).
While the Transport Department commissioned Kerala State Electronics Development Corporation Limited (4), he demanded that the service agreement be made public.
He claimed that KELTRON violated the contract's terms and service by procuring AI camera elements and assembling them at higher costs, adding substantial fees for warranties and maintenance despite rivals in the market providing free service.
As the tender process used by KELTRON to select contract companies is shrouded in mystery, he stated it is also unidentified who was involved and which firm was ultimately chosen for that time.
KELTRON and the Transport Department of Kerala (5) stated an agreement to construct an AI Camera project for a whopping 232 crores. According to LoP, the corporation subcontracted the project to a Bengaluru-based company SRIT for 151 crores.
He said that SRIT ultimately established an alliance with two other Kerala-based companies to carry out the project, implying that the Bengaluru-based company had no technical knowledge about the project it had been contracted to do.
Further continuing the allegation, an investigation into how a company with minimal technical expertise was awarded the contract is required, and all of this speaks to corruption.
KELTRON was given to manage the project despite the Finance Department's hesitation. Since Vijayan launched the "Safe Kerala" initiative, it has been intended to reduce road accidents and infractions, and corruption has led to the subject of holding it.
However, the Kerala government stated on Thursday that the project could not be halted once it had begun, merely because of some allegations by the opposition party.
The Transport Department appointed Transport Commissioner S Sreejith to develop a report following opposition party allegations in Kerala. The report will soon be published as the BJP and Congress leveled many charges against installing AI traffic cameras around the state under the "Safe Kerala" initiative (7).
Both the Congress and the BJP have been accused of irregularities in allocating contracts for the AI Camera project, officially launched on April 20 after key contracts were handed to a Kozhikode-based private company with close ties to CPI(M) leadership.
Congress leaders are also urging CM Pinarayi Vijayan to speak out. Senior Congress leader Ramesh Chennithala accused KELTRON of a corruption scheme after awarding this project to SRIT, which lacked qualifications and was paid more than the market rate.
On Tuesday, Leader of the Opposition VD Satheesan stated that it is a mystery that the same company was awarded a subcontract and purchase order for the large project. It should also be noted that the total purchase and commission payment for all contracts is also the same.
He revealed the documentation verifying the subcontracts and purchase orders and asked the CM, "Do you have the guts to respond to the allegations raised to the CM Office?" And he continued, "Kerala has never seen such a coward, CM."
On the other hand, BJP Kerala Vice-President Sobha Surendran raised severe allegations against the CM, claiming that Ramjith, the director of the business that won the tender for AI cameras, is a Benami of Prakash Babu, who is also the father-in-law of the CM's son.
She said that the Opposition Leader, VD Satheesan, had shielded the Kerala Chief Minister after learning that Prakash Babu's Benami company was awarded the deal for the AI camera project and that the government and opposition parties are now cooperating in the state.
However, she added that Satheesan and other opposition leaders are now careful not to mention Prakash Babu's name because they had put together a mutual aid organization. She said the opposition hesitates to expose Prakash Babu, even though Kannur-based industrialists were involved in the project (8).
When a reporter noted that BJP state president K Surendran had remained mute on Prakash Babu's name, Shobha responded that just because the party chief had not said anything did not mean she could not take a different stand as vice president.
She further stated that a letter had been forwarded to the "Central" asking for a central agency probe into the suspected corruption. The vigilance probe in this matter is a sham because the CM is a mastermind in exploiting state probes to his benefit (9).
As previously stated, Congress Leader Ramesh Chennitahal issued a document accusing the formation of a conspiracy to hand over the 232 crore AI traffic camera project to SRTI India Private Limited, which is tied to Uralungal Labour Contract Co-operative Society Ltd.
He said the tender had already been set, and SRIT had been chosen as the preferred candidate. Meanwhile, SRIT, the chosen company for the AI camera project, stated on its website that it was only earning 6% of the project's total revenue, which is yet to be discovered (10).
It stated that it chose partners to acquire electronic and non-electronic ICT components to ensure the highest level of quality. The "Safe Kerala" initiative had limited funds, and SRIT is said to have low earnings.
There are additional reports that SRIT's service will be billed quarterly after February 2026 and service-free after that. So far, several things have yet to be discovered, even though it has only been a week since its inception, and corruption is already wreaking havoc.