Mumbai: In a bid to counter fuel adulteration, India’s largest oil refiner Indian Oil Corp. plans to install GPS-based vehicle tracking systems on over 10,000 tanker trucks that transport petrol and diesel from its depots to retail outlets. GPS, or global positioning system, allows any object on which a GPS-device has been fitted to be tracked through satellite.
The plan encompasses trucks serving Indian Oil’s petrol stations, as well as those of its subsidiary IBP Ltd.
Adulteration was a big problem for the company, said N. Srikumar, general manager, branding, Indian Oil. “It lowers our credibility as a retail energy brand. It also has an impact on the economy, steals revenue from the exchequer and damages vehicles. It robs us of business,” he said.
Srikumar said that a study carried out by the company had shown that much of the adulteration happened in transit, between the time tanker trucks left the depot, and the time they arrived at the petrol station. By tracking the movement of the trucks, IOC hopes to keep tabs on any unscheduled diversions. The very presence of the GPS-devices, too, could serve as a deterrent.
The plan is part of a retail automation initiative involving customized software developed by Honeywell Inc. This will help the company monitor the performance of each of its stations, in terms of quantity and other details, online and in real time. “This will help dealers manage their inventory better, monitor the performance of their fore-court staff, and raise the level of customer service,” said Srikumar. In the first phase, which will cost Rs169 crore, the plan will cover 1,000 petrol stations of Indian Oil and 250 of IBP, by September. That month is also the deadline for installing the GPS-devices on the trucks.