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GPS devices to keep track of ration supplies to fair price shops

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CLOSE WATCH: A screenshot of a survey vehicle in Krishnagiri being tracked at the control centre in Chennai.
CLOSE WATCH: A screenshot of a survey vehicle in Krishnagiri being tracked at the control centre in Chennai.

Ajai Sreevatsan

The pilot scheme will be implemented in Krishnagiri and Tiruvallur districts

The new system will employ the ‘geofencing’ feature of GPS

Attempts at large-scale diversion of foodgrains and pilferage will be stalled

CHENNAI: The transportation of foodgrains from the Civil Supplies Department’s godowns to individual ration shops will soon be monitored with the help of eyes in the sky. Global Positioning System (GPS) tracking devices fitted on lorries will give minute-to-minute updates on speed and location to a central control centre.

The move, aimed at eliminating theft in transit, will be implemented in two districts, Krishnagiri and Tiruvallur, as a pilot scheme.

A senior official of the Tamil Nadu Civil Supplies Corporation in charge of procurement said that the two districts being border districts, the probability of food grain diversion was higher.

“Real-time tracking of their movement will induce moral fear among the drivers,” he said.

The Corporation already has a system in place to track the movement of lorries from Food Corporation of India (FCI) godowns to its own storage facilities.

“The system will now be extended to the transportation of grains to each ration shop. When hand-held billing machines are introduced in all the districts, there will be electronic monitoring of the entire process chain — from central storage warehouses to individual customers,” an official said.

The new system will employ the ‘geofencing’ feature of GPS. Once a registered vehicle fitted with a GPS device enters a godown, tracking gets activated.

A predetermined route has to be taken by the lorry driver after leaving the godown. In case of diversion from the route or unnecessary halts of more than 15 minutes, an SMS is sent to the Vigilance Officer, Regional Manager and other senior officials. The start and completion of the trip are also notified through SMS.

M. Veera Shanmuga Moni, Civil Supplies Corporation MD, told The Hindu on Tuesday that the tracking device would prevent attempts at large-scale diversion of foodgrains and pilferage along the route can be minimised.

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