GPS to track PDS anomalies

Vehicles ferrying essential commodities of the Public Distribution System (PDS) in the city will soon be under the surveillance of a Global Positioning Satellite (GPS) system. The decision to opt for the technology by the Chief Rationing Officer (CRO), Hyderabad district, was taken after officials detected several cases of maleficence in the second stage transportation by Fair Price Shop (FPS) dealers.

Under the PDS, essential commodities are sent from the Food Corporation of India (FCI) to the Mandal Level Stock (MLS) points in the first stage, after which they reach the dealer in the second stage. And it is in the latter (stage-2) that most of the illegal diversions take place, claim officials, not willing to be identified. This was found out after constant raids by officials over the last six months to curb diversion of the commodities.

A senior CRO official alleged that it is easy for fair price shop dealers to divert essential commodities during transportation, as the work is given out on contract.

“A lot of kerosene diversion has also been taking place, and we have been getting complaints of the same. The GPS tracking will help us know that vehicles do not change track,” he mentioned, further stating that rice is also another commodity which is diverted often.

Tenders for the same will be called for soon, mentioned the official. Similarly, he further explained that the Electronic Point of Service (EPOS) system, which is in place in about 18 FPS outlets, will be installed in all 800 plus outlets in Hyderabad district soon. “It will ensure that every card holder gets his or her share without fail. Also, we are planning to install CCTV cameras at MLS points as well,” he said.

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Printable version | Jan 28, 2021 11:39:10 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Hyderabad/gps-to-track-pds-anomalies/article7474647.ece

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