Kerala excise department wants GPS fitted to vehicles ferrying alcohol
The proposal has been floated after the excise officials felt that inter-state transportation of spirit requires more scrutiny.
Published: 13th March 2023 06:07 AM | Last Updated: 13th March 2023 06:07 AM | A+A A-
THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: In a bid to plug the leakage in the supply chain of spirit and preempt chances of adulteration, the excise department has proposed to the state government to allow only those vehicles fitted with GPS tracking systems and GPS-tagged digital locks to transport alcohol and spirit from other states to the distilleries in Kerala.
The proposal has been floated after the excise officials felt that inter-state transportation of spirit requires more scrutiny. The excise officials normally conduct a manual check of the loads that are being transported from across the state borders after they arrive at the distilleries. However, the excise officials felt that a more cautious approach was required to track the vehicles and detect whether they deviate from the normal routes or make undue halts.
“In 2021, about 20,000 litres of extra neutral alcohol (ENA), a key raw ingredient in the production of rum, was siphoned off while it was being transported to state-owned Travancore Sugars and Chemicals in Tiruvalla. The manipulation of the stock took place during its transit from Madhya Pradesh. To avoid similar incidents in future, we have proposed that the government should make it mandatory that the firms running the distilleries should bring in spirit in GPS-fitted vehicles having digital locks. This way we can get live updates about the location of the vehicles and can also ensure that the locks are not tampered with, “ said an excise source.
Once the government implements the proposal, the excise cyber cell will be entrusted with the task of tracking the vehicles. The motor vehicles department will also be able to get updates about the movement of such vehicles, the source added.
Additional excise commissioner (Engagement) E N Suresh said enabling GPS tracking systems in vehicles will help prevent them from taking detours with sinister intentions. “It will also reduce chances of adulteration occurring in transit,” he added. The excise has also proposed making GPS mandatory in vehicles ferrying toddy from Palakkad to other districts in the state to prevent adulteration of toddy. The department has conveyed to the government that toddy shops should be auctioned only to those who agree to equip GPS tracking systems in the vehicles that ferry toddy.