AI camera installed near Mananchira, Kozhikode | Photo: Mathrubhumi
Thiruvananthapuram: The installation of Artificial Intelligence-enabled surveillance cameras for traffic regulations in the state continues to remain under the scanner as irregularities over the amount spent on purchasing the equipment raise suspicion.
As per the government order, the Rs 232.25 crore project was to be implemented via the public sector undertaking Kerala State Electronics Development Corporation Limited (KELTRON). However, when KELTRON issued sub-contracts to two private companies, they took over the task of implementing the entire project at a cost of Rs 82.87 crore.
According to KELTRON’s explanation, around Rs 4 lakh was required for the purchase of AI cameras alone. However, as per records, the cameras were purchased for Rs 1,23,445 only.
KELTRON later gave a sub-contract for the project to another company, SRIT, for Rs 151.22 crores. Following which, SRIT handed over the same contract to two other companies - Lyte Master Lighting India and Presidio Technology on November 16, 2020.
As per the contract, Lyte Master Lighting India was tasked to purchase the equipment and bear the expenses. Whereas, Presidio Technology was in charge of installing the cameras. Reportedly, the purchase orders and further details of the required equipment were handed over to Lyte Master on the day of the contract itself, adding to the suspicion.
According to an SRIT official, around five per cent of the project’s total expenditure will be required for the installation. That is, the expense will be Rs 7.55 crore. In short, Lyte Master Lighting India and Presidio Technology need to spend only Rs 82.87 crore for the implementation of the project.
Furthermore, the contract between the two companies also contains provisions regarding the profit sharing of the project. Six per cent of the total project cost will go to SRIT. Whereas, the profits will be split at a 60:40 per cent rate between Presidio and Lyte Master.