Big Brother to keep an eye on liquor booty

Excise department considers installing GPS devices in vehicles transporting liqour to track their movements, since often their drivers stop midway to adulterate liquor or smuggle in more

Surveillance will now keep a check on illegal liquor in the state. To restrain the growing volume of illegal liquor entering the state, the excise department is mulling a plan to install GPS (global positioning system) monitoring systems in vehicles that transport legitimate liquor.

Halt with care: Excise officials plan to install GPS devices in liquor
transport trucks so they can easily trace their movement and spot where
the trucks make a stop to carry out any wrongful activities.
Pic for

A senior excise official on the condition of anonymity said that the state has been considering tracking the movement of bootleggers, who in many cases, are none another than drivers of the liquor transport vehicle or their associates.

"We want to keep a tab on every movement of these transporters. They tend to get sucked into illegal activities in which liquor is misused. We are planning to install GPS systems in their vehicles so they are easily traceable," said an excise official.

A central web server will be installed from where every moment of the truck can be monitored. "Liquor is not only used for drinking but it is also used for medicinal and toiletry purposes. Drivers stop the trucks carrying such alternate-use liquor on the way to adulterate it or smuggle in more with it. With the GPS, every time the truck stops, we will be able to spot it," the official added. 

The official revealed that various departments are using the GPS technology, including Maharashtra Pollution Control Board, which wants to track the chemical waste dumped by pharmaceutical companies into the sea, and trucks dumping construction debris into the sea and creeks.

However, the monitoring is not a foolproof method to track illegal liquor. "We are worried that the GPS system will only help us track the movements of vehicles but not curb the menace of misuse of liquor. We might plan a computerised locking system for trucks, so there is no scope of tampering with the liquor. We are still seeking suggestions from the department about how the vehicles will be registered. If everything falls in place, we will soon be able to begin monitoring," said the official.

Shivaji Patil, SP (Excise), confirmed that there are plans of installing the GPS system, however, he refused to comment further, saying that the move is still at the planning stage.

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