THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: The state government has decided to defer its decision to make Global Positioning System (GPS) mandatory for all public transport vehicles, following stiff opposition from motor workers unions. Transport Minister A K Saseendran, who was against granting an extension of the deadline, announced the deferment plan in the assembly following a directive from the chief minister. He did not specify the new deadline.
The Transport Minister urged the Motor Workers Protection Committee to refrain from the proposed motor strike on June 18. The order for mandatory installation of GPS has been in effect since June 1. In the first phase, autorickshaws were exempted from it.
The Opposition MLAs led by Opposition leader Ramesh Chennithala demanded a relaxation of the deadline, during the assembly session. Saseendran said the decision was based on a Supreme Court order and following a directive from the Central Government. The court wanted GPS to be installed in vehicles in October 2017 following the Nirbhaya case verdict. Later the deadline was extended to April 2018 and again to June 2019.
The GPS system installed in vehicles will help track the speed of vehicles and routes. It will help the police control room and the mini control room of the Motor Vehicles Department to check if the driver was rash or not. Even a 45-degree tilt to the vehicle could be automatically notified to the control room, enabling the enforcement agencies to intervene and provide help.
Assembly passes Medical Education Amendment Bill
T’Puram: The Legislative Assembly on Thursday passed the Kerala Medical Education (Regulation and Control of Admission to Private Medical Educational Institutions) Amendment Bill 2019. The amendment will replace the Admission and Fee Regulatory Committee envisioned in the Kerala Medical Education (Regulation and Control of Admission to Private Medical Educational Institutions) Act 2017 with an Admission Supervisory Committee and a Fee Regulatory Committee. Both the committees will he headed separately by a retired judge of the High Court. “Admission and fee regulation are separate proceedings. It should have to be considered differently. It is in this backdrop that the 10 member Admission and Fee Regulatory Committee has been replaced with a six-member Admission Supervisory Committee and a five-member Fee Regulatory Committee,” said Health Minister K K Shailaja.
Cabinet sanction to extend Kochi Metro to Tripunithura
T’Puram: The state Cabinet issued administrative sanction for a C356 crore project to extend the Kochi Metro project to Tripunithura. As per the proposal the Phase I-B of metro rail will be extended from S N Junction to Tripunithura Railway Station/Bus Depot.
● Cabinet issued its clearance to sign an MoU with union government and Indian Railways for construction of 27 road over bridges. The construction is being carried out by the Keral Rail Development Corporation.
● Sanction given for the Cherpulassery bypass construction and urban development to be carried out through Road Fund Board, instead of over bridge construction at Cherpulassery town. To be done using KIIFB funds, the project will have an estimated cost of C15.86 crore.
● M N Jeevaraj, retired chief engineer of PWD, to be appointed as CEO of Kerala Road Fund Board, on re-appointment basis.
Police Technology Centre to be upgraded
T’Puram: The Police Technology Centre, which will be established in the state capital, will be a hub of different technology-related activities in the force, said Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan. “Telecommunication wing, ICT wing, police data centre, research and development centre, social media analysis lab, photography bureau, central intrusion monitoring system and cyber forensic training camp will be shifted to the centre,” he told the Assembly. The centre will be set up at Poonthura.
Panther fire truck
The Chief Minister told the House the government will consider buying a Panther fire truck for the fire brigade. He said this in reply to a request by V S Sivakumar, MLA. Sivakumar said the Panther fire-fighting truck owned by Thiruvananthapuram airport had a significant role in containing recent fire mishaps in the capital.
A total of 344 civil service officers joined the state service after 2004. They included 125 IAS officers, 142 IPS officers and 77 IFS officers.