THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: Low number of cases were being detected by the Excise Department’s minor check-posts in Thiruvananthapuram district because they lacked basic facilities for effective enforcement, the Comptroller and Auditor General of India (CAG) has found.
Thiruvananthapuram has one major excise check-post and 14 minor check-posts. ‘’The minor check-posts were in temporary sheds without any facilities. The staff working in the check-posts were not provided with wireless equipment or arms. Hence, they were unable to stop a suspected vehicle or to give information to other offices for taking immediate action,’’ the CAG’s audit of the Excise Department for the year ending March 2011 said.
The report goes on to say that ineffective enforcement is reflected in low detection/registration of cases through check-posts (see box). Also, more vehicles were pending confiscation in Thiruvananthapuram district than any other in abkari cases, while the district stood second in the number of seized vehicles pending disposal. The CAG points out that seized vehicles have also gone missing from police stations in the district.
In all, 228 vehicles were pending confiscation in abkari cases across the State from 2005 to 2011, of which Thiruvananthapuram accounted for 81, nearly double of the next district, Alappuzha (48). Of the 228, the fate of 169 were hanging in balance due to ‘’non-completion of investigation,’’ according to the CAG. In 2010 alone, 41 vehicles were pending confiscation in Thiruvananthapuram. And in the case of seized vehicles, 60 were pending disposal in the district, the number being marginally lower than Palakkad, which topped the list with 62 vehicles.
Five vehicles kept on the premises of the Parassala, Vizhinjam and Aryanad police stations were found missing, the CAG found.