[INDIA] Beware if you are using cooking gas for other purposes

Beware if you have multiple connections and use cooking gas cylinders to run a vehicle or a geyser. For these, you are supposed to use costlier commercial cylinders.

Similarly, unscrupulous dealers or delivery men will not be able to divert cylinders meant for domestic consumers to commercial establishments. Simply put, dealers cannot delay delivery, blaming it on short supply. All this will be possible soon with state-owned oil marketing companies planning to tag cylinders with radio frequency ID (RFID) chips. This will help track the movement of each cylinder from the time it leaves the filling station and returns for a refill.

State-owned oil marketing companies are planning to tag cylinders with radio chips that will track the movement of LPG cylinder from the time it leaves the filling station and comes back for a refill.

After a test run, IndianOil Corporation is launching a pilot on the RFID (radio frequency identity) project in Coimbatore. Simultaneously, it is rolling out indigenous software, IndSoft (short for Indane software), to merge all its dealers and supply points into a seamless network.

"IOC has about 5 crore cooking gas connections and 5,000 dealers serving them. Most dealers keep booking and delivery records on their own computers and the data is not transmitted to the company directly or in real time, leaving scope for diversion by unscrupulous elements. IndSoft will merge them into a common network linked to a central server. This will help monitor each dealer and detect any deviation either in delivery or use," G C Daga, IOC’s director (marketing), said.

Daga said the project would be in place by September-October, before the festival season begins when demand as well as diversions rise.

"We will then know the number of cylinders a dealer is receiving from us and delivering to customers. We will track the rollover pattern of cylinders against each consumer number. If a cylinder comes back for refill, say, in 10 days, we know there’s something amiss. With RFID, we can even identify the delivery boy for a particular cylinder. We can also detect ‘ghost’ or bogus connections or households which have multiple connections in the name of various members living together," he added.

Daga is, however, candid enough to admit that the success of RFID in detecting cylinders that have found their way into commercial establishments will depend on the number of ‘raids’ oil company executives are able to conduct. But the software will be nearly foolproof.

Source: India Economic Times

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