In a bid to track stock position and quality of grains stored on a real-time basis, the Food Corporation of India (FCI) will link its 553-odd godowns through an online network by July this year.
Sources told FE that the purpose of the online depot project is to discontinue manual entry of foodgrains stock in each of FCI’s depot for eliminating possibility of diversion of grains.
The corporation has already completed a pilot run of the project in 30 depots located across the country. A formal inauguration of the project is slated later this week. Under the online project, all the depot managers and allied staff are trained with handling tablets for entering the stock positions in the real-time basis.
Once all the depots owned by FCI are put on a single online platform, another 1,288 godowns hired by FCI from Central Warehousing Corporation, state warehousing corporations, etc. would be added to the platform probably by the end of next fiscal.
The total cost of putting all the 1,842 depots online would be around R200 crore. The software and hardware of the online system has been developed by a private player, Ricoh India, which was selected through a bidding process.
“Once all the foodgrain depots are linked to a platform, the entire movement or transportation could be tracked centrally,” an FCI official said. The official said that the whole system of grain transport could be monitored thus eliminating possibility of diversion.
According to another FCI official, the depot online system would facilitate process automation, standardisation and efficiency of the management of foodgrain distribution.