Odisha Sun Times Bureau
Bhubaneswar, May 1:
Odisha government has made installation of global positioning system (GPS) mandatory in trucks engaged for transportation of minerals in the state from today.
Henceforth, trucks not having GPS will not be allowed to transport mineral in the state. Out of 32,400 trucks engaged in mineral transportation in the state, around 24,000 have installed GPS.
Steel and Mines Minister Prafulla Mallick said that the remaining 8,000 odd trucks will soon install GPS.
“We had ordered for installing GPS in all trucks by April 30th. Around 32,400 trucks have applied for installation of GPS. Around 22,000-24,000 of these trucks have already installed GPS. The GPS equipment provider has been asked to install GPS in the remaining trucks,” informed Steel and Mines Minister Prafulla Mallick speaking to reporters here today.
However, truckers have sought an extension of the deadline since the supply of the specified GPS equipment is in short supply.
“Availability of GPS equipment is in short supply and it won’t be possible to equip all vehicles engaged in the transportation of mineral within even a year’s time. So we demand an extension of the deadline. The order should be implemented only after all trucks are equipped with GPS. If it’s done in a half-hearted manner most of the vehicles will come to a halt,” said an office bearer of a truckers’ body engaged in mineral transportation.
The decision to install GPS in trucks carrying minerals in the state was taken at a meeting of the State Level Task Force held under the chairmanship of Chief Secretary Aditya Prasad Padhi in November last year. Initially, the deadline for installing GPS in trucks was December 28, last year which was later extended till April 30 this year.
Notably, GPS tracking devices in trucks used for mineral transportation will track the movements of trucks from the mineral source to the destination points using Integrated Mines and Mineral Management System (i3MS) developed and implemented by Odisha Space Applications Centre (ORSAC). The system will connect with GPS installed in trucks, which will be monitored by the Mines department. This has been done to prevent illegal transportation/smuggling of minerals in the state.