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IOCL vehicle tracking system still in scent stage despite directive

Sentinel Digital DeskBy : Sentinel Digital Desk

  |  13 May 2016 12:00 AM GMT

From a Correspondent

JORHAT, May 12: As per the directive of the Ministry of Petroleum and tural Gas issued way back in June, 2010 through a meeting called by the tiol Disaster Magement authority, all oil and manufacturing companies were to implement VTS (Vehicle Tracking System) on all tank trucks for delivering POL supplies for overall monitoring through Global Positioning Satellites (GPS) which would then help monitor movement of the vehicle through live tracking and ascertain the current position of the tanker, track deviation from the standard route, tracking of an en route uuthorized stoppage and tracking tampering of dome cover and bottom fittings. The whole idea behind the meeting and the subsequent direction was to strengthen safety and security of POL tankers.

The main parameters of the VTS is generation of exception reports on route deviation and uuthorized halts is to be generated on a daily basis by consigner (IOC) and action to be taken as per Industry Transport Discipline Guidelines (ITDG). Whereas other provision of the directive included access to all transporters for tracking the vehicle plying in their contract for better fleet magement, and consignees (Retail Outlet Dealers) should have password access to VTS website and accordingly necessary amendments in the Petroleum Rules, 2002 and CMV Rules, 2009 were required to be made to ensure that all tank trucks be mandatorily fitted with VTS. The Ministry of Petroleum and tural Gas in its annual report of 2009-10 had mentioned in clause 4.1.19 under Quality Assurance that in order to ensure that quality product reaches the customer at retail outlets, VTS is under implementation by IOC and as on 31.12.2009, 16,775 trucks had been covered out of a total of 20,000 trucks.

But as alleged, the implementation of the VTS in oil tankers Upper Assam is still a long way from completion and this has perhaps led to the ubated business of mixing and adulteration by certain unscrupulous tanker owners or transporters. Some genuine tanker owners on condition anonymity said, “Around Rs 8,000 for each VTS against each tanker has already been deposited with IOCL in Upper Assam but till date except for a few tankers that carries product to IOCL depots, others are still to be fitted with the device. Besides, we are amazed to see that the transporters’ union is also silent on the matter and despite depositing the amount, has been keeping quiet. The fixing of the device would have long suppressed the adulteration business, share of which is pocketed by one and all. And the transporters too are happy with the conventiol mode which gives them an opportunity to earn extra cash.”

Notably the present CTM of IOCL Tinsukia had earlier mentioned about VTS to be still in the initial stage. On an average 150 tankers move out of the Tinsukia terminus for delivery across various retail outlets and IOCL maintained depots in both Aruchal Pradesh and Manipur. A senior executive of IOCL Upper Assam had mentioned about poor network connectivity of mobile network to be the main hurdle behind the slow implementation of VTS in Assam.

However, a recent breakthrough by Jorhat Police to recover Rs 1.11 crore looted from an ATM vehicle of SIS Prosegur was apparently made possible after downloading the GPS data fitted on the ATM delivery vehicle. Notably, the data revealed that the vehicle engine was shut down at a remote location of Teok subdivision in Jorhat district having sparse network connectivity and later on active interrogation, the whole nexus and the planning came to light, thus leading to the arrest of as many as six workers of the SIS Prosegur Company. Questions are being asked about the claim of the IOCL executive in giving a negligible reason for not fitting VTS in IOCL tankers. Assam is perhaps at the top position in the adulteration business and many noted citizens have pointed fingers at the credibility of both the district administration in general and the Central Government agencies dealing with the petroleum sector for failing miserably to control the situation. Some noted people are also of the opinion that a CBI enquiry should be ordered to put an end to the adulteration business.

Very recently the district civil supplies department of Pune, after conducting a detailed check of the Loni Kalbhor termil, following adulteration complaints from people as well as petrol dealers. It was found that the termil did not have an ethanol blending device needed for mandatory checks to avoid rampant adulteration and the department seized 4-5 tankers involved in adulteration of petrol.

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