The GPS equipment will be borne by the kerosene wholesalers

People indulged in diversion of subsidised kerosene oil may have to think twice before pilfering the essential commodity meant for weaker sections of the society.

The State has given its consent for introduction of Global Positioning System-based Vehicle Tracking System which would help administrators follow kerosene oil tankers sitting in their offices.

In a recent letter addressed to Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Gas, the State Food Supplies and Consumer Welfare secretary R. K. Sharma submitted the State's view on the proposed system.

“The cost of GPS equipment will be borne by the kerosene wholesalers. In cases of delivered supplies by the oil companies to kerosene wholesalers, the cost of equipment will be met by oil companies,” Mr. Sharma wrote.

Director of Consumer Affairs-cum-joint secretary in the FS&CW department has been declared as the nodal officer to liaise with the oil companies.

“We have already implemented colour-code for vehicles carrying vehicles. Allegations often keep coming about to pilferage of kerosene oil. We have tried out different steps to prevent it. Now introduction of new technology hopefully could put a brake on diversion of kerosene oil,” said G. C. Nayak, Director of Consumer Affairs.

The State requires about 3,38,66,000 litres of kerosene per month and the government only gives district-wise allocation list while oil companies supply the oil, Mr. Nayak said.

Onus is on oil companies to keep track of vehicles those delivers kerosene oil at distribution end, he said.

“We are going to hold a meeting to discuss modalities to operationalise Vehicle Tracking System. The GPS instrument costs about Rs.13,000 which should not be a burden on wholesaler,” Mr. Nayak said. The automatic message generation about movements of tankers is expected to help prevent off-loading of kerosene stock by drivers, he said.