The government will launch an online system this week to automate the operations at FCI depots in order to minimise storage losses of foodgrains.
State-run Food Corporation of India (FCI), the nodal agency for procurement and distribution of foodgrains for the PDS, has been incurring financial loss because of damage to foodgrains and storage and transit losses.
There are about 2,000-odd depots including hired ones.
“FCI depots will go online this week. Initially, 30-odd FCI owned depots have been brought under the Depot Online System, which will be launched this week,” a senior Food Ministry official told PTI.
By July, 540-odd FCI-owned depots will be made online and later hired depots will also be brought under this system, the official added.
The FCI depot online system would eliminate usage of manual registers and would capture data online at source and on a real time basis.
A software to accomplish this task has already been developed and tested in one-two depots in Andhra Pradesh before it was scaled up.
A senior official said that automation of the entire process from entry and exit of foodgrains at FCI depots would curb theft and manipulation. This will improve efficiency in operations of depots.
The cost of the project is not expected to be very high as computers are there at depots and software needs to be installed and manpower has to be trained, the official added.
Currently, there is some kind of computerisation at FCI depots to an extent that it gives stock position data. However, every operation from loading to unloading of foodgrains is done manually.