11K trucks carrying fertilisers being tracked live, but none from State

11K trucks carrying fertilisers being tracked live, but none from State

As many as 11,000 trucks carrying hazardous chemical fertilisers and pharmaceutical materials from industries in various states are being monitored in real time using the Global Positioning System (GPS) under the Nicer Globe initiative of the Indian Chemical Council (ICC).

Thirty-five companies across the country have voluntarily signed up for the initiative that will go on for two years.

But none of them is from Karnataka. Under this technology, the movement of a truck, diversions, stock of items and cases of theft can be monitored, assessed and reported, H S Karangle, director general of the ICC, said at a press conference here on Wednesday. The ICC is an apex national body which monitors industrial firms, assesses them every three years and issues safety guidelines.

The GPS is connected to a call centre in Mumbai and all trucks under it display a call centre number. In case of any untoward incident, the call centre can be dialled and the local police and the fire brigade pressed to action. Through this technology, operators can track the movement of 3,600 trucks every minute.

The next step in this is Helmet Trucks, a project under which trucks located in the vicinity can be immediately pressed into action to rescue stranded vehicles and items, Karangle explained.

Karnataka has 40 pharmaceutical industries, 10 of them in Bengaluru. It also has around 300 non-pharmaceutical industries, including those of small and medium scale. Of them, 25 are members of the ICC.

The ICC, along with the Karnataka State Pollution Control Board and the Academy of Certified Hazardous Materials Managers-India Chapter, is organising a workshop on August 27 and 28 on the theme ‘Process Safety and Security.’

Many companies generally violated the air and water (prevention and control of pollution) acts, said the KSPCB’s Chief Environmental Officer, S Nanda Kumar. Garbage is another issue. In order to ensure stringent checks, the online monitoring system on companies was introduced. September 30, 2015, is the deadline for all industries to instal the system and register with the Central Pollution Control Board as well as the KSPCB.

Half of the 170 units are yet to do so while 40 per cent of them have placed orders for the online monitoring equipment.

Biocon, which was recently in the news for its waste disposal, has pledged to set up cell mass management and waste management plants at its units by the end of December this year. At present, it outsources the task, according to Kumar.

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