If one thought that only retailers are to be blamed for the diesel pilferage, one will be in for a shock. The pilferage cascades from the oil companies down to the retailer, and involves legal metrology officials too.
The department officials made this discovery while inspecting the IOC terminal at Rajahmundry which delivers petrol and diesel to East Godavari and West Godavari districts, and slapped cases against the oil company official concerned.
“During the inspections, it was noticed that the IOC authorities are delivering the diesel by short ranging from 10 to 15 litres for each 4,000-litre compartment of the tank trucks,” informed the Controller, Legal Metrology, R.P. Thakur. The anomalies were noticed in the third and eighth bays of the terminal, and two cases have been registered against the Manager of the IOC terminal under the Legal Metrology Act, he informed at a press conference here on Tuesday.
A department official, N. Eswar Rao, who was the District Inspector, Bhimavaram was also placed under suspension after many instances of pilferage were noticed at the retail supply outlets. Eighteen cases were slapped against the petroleum dealers in Bhimavaram, Palakollu and Penugonda areas for delivering petrol or diesel by short ranging from 30 millilitres to 135 milllilitres for a five-litre measure.
In the city, a case has been registered against Hilltop Service Station in Goshamahal for delivering diesel short by one litre for every 20 litres. Nineteen other cases have been slapped against dealers during inspections in Hyderabad and Ranga Reddy districts on June 17 and 18. Short ranges between 30 ml and 45 ml have been noticed for every five litres.
All these inspections were conducted following specific consumer complaints, said Mr. Thakur. “Collusion between dealers and officials begins right at the time of initial setting. While 25 ml shortage per five litres of fuel is allowable for various reasons such as evaporation, the officials are conspiring to set the measure at 25 ml less, instead of zero,” Mr. Thakur informed.
While imposing penalties has been the usual punishment against such offences, cases will be filed in the court of law henceforth for deficits beyond 25 ml per five litres, he said. A case has also been registered against the manufacturer of the weigh bridge Essae-Digitronics, for supplying software conducive to fraudulent practices, he said. It has been decided to recommend for cancellation of approval for the company.
Right from the oil companies down to the retailer and legal metrology officials, everyone is involved in pilferage of diesel and petrol