Centre developing software for tracking explosives, check pilferage to naxalites

• An end-to-end tracking of more than 13 lakh metric tons of explosives produced annually in the country would soon be possible, with the centre developing a software to digitize the industry and prevent pilferage of gelatin sticks and detonators to Naxalites and for illegal mining activities.

• System for Explosive Tracking and Training Project (SETT) is being designed at a cost of Rs 62.45 crores for effective monitoring of every explosive right from the manufacturer to the user on real-time basis, through the supply chain. Petroleum and Explosives Safety Organization (PESO), which comes under Ministry of Commerce and Industry Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion, is developing the SETT with the assistance from the NIC which has roped in Microsoft to complete it.

• Each explosive which comprises gelatin sticks, detonators and wires – would get a unique 2D barcode. The explosive box, inner pack and entity will be identified by the barcode which will be generated by explosive manufacturers using the IT system. It would be printed on each of them at the time of making and packaging before uploading the details on the SETT software module.

• NIC is also developing a mobile application for scanning of barcodes for accepting, dispatching and use of explosives by licence holders while generating the connected online returns.

• The SETT will be implemented in three phases and the progress is being regularly monitored by DIPP.

• The Phase one for barcoding of boxes would be rolled out by December. And the next two phases – for tagging numbers to detonators and fuse wires – is expected to be over by 2019 end.

• Each barcode will have the country code, state code, company’s licence number, machinery number and serried code, which would help the investigators to track back where it was produced or sold in case of any irregularity is detected.

• All the manufacturers are integrating data on physical parameters of explosives, packaging patterns, factory location and every manufacturing building on the NIC-developed Standardisation Software Module.

• Of more than 13.3 lakh metric ton of Class-2 (catridge and site mixed-bulk) high explosives and 985 million number of detonators produced annually by 76 manufacturers, 45 percent is consumed by Coal India Ltd and its subsidiaries.

• Another 25 percent of explosives are utilized by the mining industry in the organised sector and remaining 30 percent is consumed for infrastructure activities including for building dams, roads and oil exploration.

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