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BHUBANESWAR: With sluggish paddy procurement fuelling apprehensions of distress sale, the State Government has hit upon the novel idea of using SMS services to keep abreast of the daily information
The mobile governance, as the Food Supplies and Consumer Welfare Department calls it, will keep track of paddy procurement from centres on a day-to-day basis so that a compiled information can be generated in Bhubaneswar.
A proposal prepared by the Department says that since information on paddy procurement does not reach the State headquarter on time, there is a need for putting in place a mechanism.
The daily functioning of the paddy purchasing centres (PPC) is not monitored at any level and this is resulting in communication gap in the Department.
It is this gap that the Department wants to bridge by seeking information through text messages. As part of the plan, each PPC __ whether it is a society or a market yard __ will submit the information on procurement by sending SMSes. The purchase officers of market yard and secretaries of societies will send SMS stating paddy delivered to each miller as per their acceptance note on the day of delivery to rice mills.
“Since the SMSes will be routed through the mobile modem setup in the Department to the servers, Management Information System (MIS) reports will be generated and made available on its portal,” said a senior official.
The cellphone numbers collected through the society and market yard registration process will be used for the purpose. If a purchase officer operates for more than one market yard, s/he has to submit as many mobile phone numbers as the yards or societies he monitors so that each number can be identified with a yard or society. Besides, use of any mobile number other than those registered will not be accepted by the modem and the server. “This will eliminate all confusions and keep the identity unique,” the sources added.
As per the proposal, the district administration will have to train the purchase officers engaged in procurement since a particular format will be used for sending the SMSes. Once the text messages reach, MIS reports would be generated to know the volume of paddy procured at each PPC and paddy received by each mill.
Last year, about 25 lakh metric tonne rice was procured through different agencies which was short of target. The reasons attributed are lower production caused by drought and untimely rains.