Coal India Ltd is one of the largest producers of coal in the world. Though the production is relatively high, the profit margin is low because of the local “coal mafia” gangs that steal this black diamond. This state-run company, after 40 years, has decided to use technology to improve its production and reduce rampant theft. We think that it’s high time that vehicle trackers are used in India for such purposes.
In an event, Mr. Anil Swarup, the Coal Secretary said “We are using technology to bring the coal theft down. Under the initiative 70-80 per cent of trucks in Coal India have been GPS-mapped while 100 per cent trucks will be covered under it in a month”.
The CMD of Coal India, Mr. Sutirtha Bhattachary spoke to the PTI about this technological upgrade. He said, “Coal India is ready for a technological jump to increase its efficiency and output. A large number of steps are being initiated that include use of satellite technology for green fencing and utilization of GPS to monitor vehicles.”
This sudden use of vehicle trackers comes after Coal India was asked to step up its production and double its output in five years.
Apart from using vehicle tracking, Coal India plans to set up CCTV cameras at pertinent locations around the mine. The introduction of ICT compliant machinery can help enhance the safety of the coal miners who are already working in dangerous conditions. It is also proposed to use Enterprise resource planning (ERP) to automate and regulate data collection, storage, and interpretation.
The use of vehicle tracking system by Coal India can cost the company millions of rupees. However, the results would be reduced thefts and better production. So, how does the vehicle tracking system actually help prevent coal theft?
The vehicle trackers are installed in all the trucks and trailers that carry loads from the mines to the storage units or destination units. The GPS device faithfully tracks the movement and direction of the vehicle. All the movements of the vehicles are recorded on an online platform. So, if the vehicle veers off course, the officials can immediately identify the location and direction of movement. They can quickly step in and stop theft before it’s too late. As all the vehicles are constantly monitored, there are fewer chances of “thefts” happening. If India uses vehicle trackers in the other important industries, we can save a lot of waste and improve our profit levels.