GPS to be used to track trucks carrying PDS foodgrains

GPS to be used to track trucks carrying PDS foodgrains

Delhi government will track the trucks carrying foodgrains with the help of Global Positioning System (GPS) and Radio-frequency identification (RFID) devices to curb the menace of diversion of rations meant for lakhs of families which are below the poverty line.

Also, SMS will be sent to the ration card holders attached to that fair price shop (FPS) about the arrival of ration commodities. The system is likely to be functional in four months.

The Department of Food, Supplies and Consumer Affairs has started work on the setting up of a comprehensive web based, real time tracking system for effective implementation of the Public Distribution System.

"The objective is to continuously track the movement of vehicles to ensure that the ration commodities are properly and timely delivered to the FPS and are not diverted to the open market," said SS Yadav, Food Supply and Weights and Measures Commissioner today.

It will be implemented by the Delhi State Civil Supplies Corporation (DSCSC) Limited which is responsible for supplying foodgrains from the six Food Corporation of India (FCI) godowns in Delhi to about 2,500 Fair Price Shops (FPS) across the city, informed Yadav.

The move is significant in the wake of the department receiving complaints about diversion of food grains.

Moreover, the department conducted a series of raids in the last two months to detect and prevent diversion, and more than 30 cases have been registered in various police stations.

"3.8 lakh quintals of wheat and rice are supplied from FCI godowns to the FPS and DSCSC also transports 20,000 quintals of sugar from its two godowns to the FPS every month.

"For the transportation, DSCSC deploys 300 trucks every month. There have been a number of complaints about diversion of these items.

But leveraging information technology can provide a permanent solution to curb the menace of diversion of foodgrains by real time tracking of vehicles," Yadav said.

Moreover, as soon as the vehicle will enter perimeter of an FPS, SMS will be sent to the ration card holders attached to that shop about the arrival of ration commodities. This will bring lot of transparency in the system. The system is likely to be functional in four months, said Yadav.

DSCSC has already invited bids on June 6 from eligible, reputed and qualified firms for supply and installation of GPS based vehicle tracking system.

The system will also help the FPS owners as they will be able to track the vehicle on the website and will accordingly be able to make arrangements for its unloading and receipt of ration commodities.

The successful bidder will install GPS trackers with inbuilt RF reader and GPRS module in all the trucks hired by the DSCSC.

GPS devices will be installed along with a tamper proof radio frequency passive sensor to prevent any tampering or un-mounting of GPS devices.

"This will minimise chances of removal of GPS devices to carry it to FPS through some alternative vehicle. The system will track each and every truck carrying ration from godowns to the FPS  All stake holders will able to track the vehicles online and on real time basis.

"The route of each truck will be predetermined by the DSCSC and if there is any diversion from this route, the GPS device installed in the truck will send an alert to the control room whicj will immediately swing into action and find out the reasons for such diversion," Yadav said. The system will also send alert to the control room in case of vehicle break down, stoppage of vehicle at any point for more than five minutes and in case of any tampering with the equipment. The bidder will also set up a control room at the DSCSC headquarter at Aaram Bagh which will be operational 24x7 and shall have big screens and computer system to monitor movement of each vehicle.

The total cost of the project is estimated to be about Rs four crore, Yadav said. 

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