24 new check posts with modern equipment will be operated jointly by officials from departments of sales tax, excise, transport, to prevent illegal consignments of liquor and narcotics from entering the state

The state government seems to be leaving no stone unturned in its bid to curb the menace of liquor and drug smuggling and is roping in the aid of advanced technology to achieve this end. In a novel venture, three state departments -- pertaining to excise, sales tax and transport -- will be jointly manning 24 new check posts in the state, to monitor and curb the flow of illicit liquor and narcotics.

Check please! The modern check posts will be capable of automatic
vehicle identification and classification, licence plate recognition. Scanners
will be put in place, to supplant manual checking.

File Pic

MiD DAY had reported earlier that the Excise Department is contemplating the possibility of installing GPS devices in vehicles transporting liquor to track their movements ('Big Brother to keep and eye on liquor booty,' January 21).

"In the last few months, the Excise Department has doubled its efforts to ensure not even a drop of illicit liquor enters the state. However, it has been unsuccessful. Modern border check posts are the need of the hour," said a senior excise official.
Joint Commissioner of the department A B Ghatol revealed that the project
is the first of its kind
in the country, with three Maharashtra State Government bodies -- the Department of Transport, the Department of Sales Tax and the Department of Excise -- coming together to share resources for their respective functional benefits.
Ghatol said, "For the first time ever, three departments will use a common check post. If the vehicle is found to have liquor, it is the Excise Department that will take appropriate action. If goods are found in the vehicle, then the Sales Tax department will take care of it. This will help us curb the influx of illicit liquor and drugs in the state."
"Border check posts shall have the combined facilities for clearance and checking of commercial traffic for all the three departments. The proposed modernisation with computerised check posts will facilitate road users and reduce clearance time," said a senior excise official.
Ghatol added, "Scanners will be put in place. The new check posts will also have registered offices."
The new technologies will be capable of automatic vehicle identification and classification, licence plate recognition, and violation and incident capture. Electronic payment and accounting systems will also be installed. All the information will be sorted out electronically, and then transmitted to relevant departments. Plans are also on to install GPS tracking systems.