Aiming at bringing about more transparency in its operations, the Union government has instructed all 20 regional offices of Food Corporation of India (FCI) to implement vehicle tracking system (VTS).
According to Consumer Affairs Ministry, Food and Public Distribution, so far, the VTS tender could be finalised only in Maharashtra, Karnataka, Kerala, Uttarakhand and Jharkhand.
As part of an earlier scheme on end-to-end computerisation of public distribution system (PDS) operations almost all states/Union Territories have implemented the computerisation of supply chain management operations.
This is aimed at online monitoring of the receipt and issuance of foodgrains besides online generation of delivery orders, truck challans, gate passes, etc, including delivery of SMS alerts to fair price shops dealers and some beneficiaries.
The government has also initiated a massive effort for transformation of FCI for enhancing transparency by emulating best practices at international level for procurement of foodgrains, inventory management, warehousing, distribution etc, with the objective to integrate the same in FCI ecosystem.
FCI inspects the condition of their godown on a periodical basis and takes corrective action such as repair and renovation to ensure the storage worthiness of godowns.
In order to upgrade and modernise the storage facilities, the government has chalked out an action plan for construction of steel silos on PPP mode in the country.
Construction of silos with a capacity of 30.75 lakh metric tonne (LMT) at various locations have been awarded. Out of which a capacity of 8.25 LMT is complete and remaining is under various stages of development.
Further, silo capacity of 35.875 LMT in PPP mode is proposed under Hub&Spoke model.
According to the information given in the Lok Sabha, modernisation of existing conventional godowns are being carried out by incorporating the provision of cement concrete roads, colour coated profile sheet roofing and other annual repair and maintenance work in food storage godowns.
Arun Kumar Das is a senior journalist covering railways. He can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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