THE INDIAN Oil Corporation (IOC) will pump in Rs 200 crore every year for expanding its marketing infrastructure in UP.
“IOC has a large presence in the UP market comprising 20 terminals, 24 depots and 1,745 retail outlets (ROs) accounting for 15 per cent of its overall petroleum products distribution network in the country,” IOC Chairman Sarthak Behuria told reporters in Lucknow on Thursday.
Behuria paid a visit to Hydergarh in Barabanki district this morning and inaugurated a “Kisan Seva Kendra” (KSK), a rural marketing initiative comprising a unique template of rural petrol stations while offering a host of services including sale of lubricants, seeds, fertilizers, pesticides, groceries and also better crop output consultancy to the rural populace.
He said that the public sector giant had already started looking at checking cases of adulteration in petro-products across the country. “While it is believed that there is no fool-proof system to completely weed out adulteration, the IOC has been looking at technology solutions to combat adulteration on a pan-Indian scale,” Behuria said.
He said that an ambitious project was on to achieve complete automation of the PSU’s retail outlets with online monitoring of the inventory and sale of petro-products. The transit trucks carrying IOC’s products would be installed with Global Positioning Systems (GPS) for monitoring the route pattern of every truck to check adulteration and illegal sale of fuel on the highways.
“Specially imported locks and keys for the trucks would be provided to the dealers and the depot managers for checking theft and adulteration of petro-products. Initially about 1,800 retail outlets in the higher bracket of the petroleum retail chain were being targetted for automation, which included several outlets in UP”, Behuria said.
“We have also introduced a ‘marker system’ for tankers to monitor the level of kerosene and petrol in each of them,” he said.
On the growing concern of soaring global crude prices and the opposition of Left parties on bringing about further hike in price of petrol and diesel in the country, Behuria commented, “We are still not completely out of the woods.”