A petrol dispensing unit of the HPCL was seized by the Legal Metrology officials at Balayya Sastry Layout here. This is the first time that a live unit has been seized anywhere in Visakhapatnam for connecting an additional circuit.
The HP dealer at Balayya Sastry Layout (beside the National Highway) has seven petrol dispensing units. The dealer sought permission of the Legal Metrology authorities for replacement of two nozzles on the plea that some of the nozzles were stuck. The HPCL officials sent a dispensing unit with two nozzles from the company-owned HP Auto Care at Resapuvanipalem, Assistant Controller of Legal Metrology MNS Madhavi told the media here on Friday.
The dispensing unit was sent along with the seal to the HP dealer and the latter got it installed.
“We went to the outlet at Balayya Sastry Layout on Thursday evening to check the dispensing unit and for stamping it. We broke the seal and were surprised to find an additional circuit connected to the chip. Both the dealer and the company officials feigned ignorance about the additional device fitted to the chip. It was around 1:30 a.m. that we completed the preliminary investigation,” she said.
It was found in ‘off’ condition and a remote and its password are required to operate the additional device. The dealer said that he was not given any remote by the company and the HPCL officials say they had no knowledge of how it could have happened. Ms. Madhavi said that an employee of HPCL should be inevitably present at the time of installation of the dispensing unit and he could not escape responsibility.
A case was booked against HPCL. The case was being filed in court and, it being a non-compoundable one, the official concerned would be summoned by the court.
The Legal Metrology officials had seized 24 nozzles at the HPCL-owned Millennium Bunk at Siripuram a few weeks ago for violation of guidelines.
A total of 52 nozzles were seized from various petrol bunks in the city and district belonging to HPCL and BPCL during the last two and a half months.