Uttar Pradesh tops the list of states which have recorded the highest number of cases of petrol sales fraud committed at retail stations through the tempering of dispensing units using high-end chips, according to the oil ministry. UP is followed by Gujarat and Madhya Pradesh in the highest number of such cases reported in the past two-and-a-half years, according to information shared by the oil ministry in response to a question asked in Parliament on 17 July.
A total of 101 cases of petrol/diesel theft across the country have been reported in the last two and half years up to June 2017, out of which half have been reported in UP alone. According to the statement released by the oil ministry, UP recorded 51 cases on petrol and diesel thefts followed by 17 cases in Gujarat, 10 cases in MP and seven in Rajasthan since April 2015.
The ministry also informed the joint inspection teams comprising state government officers and Oil Marketing Companies (OMCs) executives have conducted more than 9,489 inspections at retail outlets in Maharashtra and Uttar Pradesh after the petrol chip scam was uncovered by the UP Special Task Force (STF) in April 2017. The inspections and subsequent evidence of tampering has led to 44 retail outlets being terminated by OMCs in UP and Maharashtra.
Since 27 April 2017, 33 retail outlets in UP were found to have external chips while 33 stations were found to have external wires and 27 retail outlets were found to have their safety seal broken, According to information provided by MoPNG.
The ministry, in response to a question on the possibility of a nexus between OMC field officers and petrol pump dealers being involved in the chip scam, stated that UP Police STF and the Crime Branch of Maharashtra have not been able to confirm any nexus, but added OMCs have transferred some field officers and further action will be initiated on completion of an internal enquiry.
“As regards nexus between OMC field officers and dealers of petrol pumps, OMCs have informed that so far it has not been brought to their notice by any investigative agency namely UP Police STF and Crime branch Maharashtra. OMCs have referred this issue to their vigilance departments which are currently investigating this aspect as well. Pending enquiry, OMCs have also transferred some field officers and put them on special duty. On completion of enquiry, further action will be initiated. Besides the same, OMCs have appointed internal committee to look at systemic issues and also look at adequacy and effectiveness of standard operating practices (SOPs),” oil minister Dharmendra Pradhan said in Lok Sabha.
The ministry has also furnished an exhaustive list of complaints received by the government regarding adulteration and short-delivery of fuel from various petrol pumps across the country in the last three years including the current year.
According to the data, a total of 7,792 such complaints have been received in the last three years across the country, of which Maharashtra has recorded the highest number of complaints at 1,487 followed by Karnataka (749), Delhi (677), UP (510) and Gujarat (496), among others.
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