The state government’s failure in ensuring the promised funds for Kerala Road Safety Authority (KRSA) has crippled the efforts to improve road safety measures in the state, observed Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) during the audit report on revenue sector for 2017-18 submitted in the assembly on Wednesday.
The report finds that the government didn’t release Rs. 435.51 crore meant for Kerala Road Safety Fund for 2008-09 to 2017-18 despite clear provisions in statutes. “The government didn’t take any steps to rectify and the KRSA was unable to allot funds for projects identified for road safety,” notes the report.
As per Section 11(3) of the KRSA Act, 2007, 50% of the compounding fee collected in the previous year should be transferred to KRSF. As per rule 3 (4) of the KRSA rules, 2007, 1% of the road safety cess collected by the motor vehicles department may be charged for expenditure and the balance shall be transferred to KRSF.
The audit report found that during 2014-15, the police levied Rs 45.83 crore as compounding fee using 100 speed detection cameras installed by Keltron. But, only Rs 14.70 crore from this was transferred to the fund.
The audit is critical of the organisational set up of the KRSA. “The KRSA didn’t maintain any information about the present status of implementation of projects, amount pending with implementing agencies after completion of projects and up to date account of refunds regarding completed projects. This could lead to shortage of funds with KRSA and affect the sanctioning of projects,” notes the report.
The audit also found that district road safety councils also didn’t comply with rules. DRSCs didn’t send any report or return to the road safety commissioner as mandated by Section 23 of the KRSA Act. KRSA didn’t prepare annual report and submit to the government as mandated by the rule. The government also didn’t nominate experts to the district councils, finds the report.
The CAG report also notes that the shortcomings when pointed out during the exit conference were approved by the government. Officials assured the audit body that the issue of short transfer of funds would be taken up by the finance department.Source: TOI