An audit report has expressed concern that army vehicles older than a year seem to be consuming 1.5 litres of fuel per kilometre.
“If these low KPL (km per litre) limits are accepted as normal then the operational status of majority of Army vehicles could be a matter of serious concern,” a report by the Controller General of Defence Accounts (CGDA) said.
This and other examples of pilferage, wastage and inefficiencies were pointed out by the 111-page report prepared by and submitted to the defence ministry in August 2010. The report is gathering dust now in the ministry of defence (MoD) HQ.
“It is a general common knowledge that vehicles which are older than even five years do maintain a KPL which is 75% to 80% of that claimed by the OEM (Original Equipment Manufacturer). As these figures are not shared with the OEM manufacturers, this low KPL data passes off unnoticed.”
Repeated queries by HT to the defence ministry failed to evoke any response.
Making a case for the worldwide practice of establishing direct linkages between fuel users in the army and the state-owned oil companies such as IOC, HPCL and BPCL, and doing away with military depot-based inventory systems of the British era, the report called for a “gradual withering away of ASC (Army Service Corps) depots acting as avoidable intermediaries as at present”.
The present practice in the army is not to directly dispense fuel into vehicle tanks but to supply fuel to user units through barrels and jerrycans, creating risks of diversion and misappropriation.
A key recommendation of the internal report is setting up an exclusive transportation command subsuming all the logistical agencies, which “would enable the Army to save an amount of more than Rs. 3,000 crore on an annual and recurring basis”.