The Telegraph
Saturday , December 1 , 2012
Since 1st March, 1999
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Drive to check petrol pump fraud

Glare on outlets

Nov 30: The Kamrup (metro) district administration, along with the department of food and civil supplies, will soon carry out a drive to monitor all petrol pumps in the city to ascertain whether the customers are being supplied the exact amount of fuel they are paying for.

The erring petrol pumps stand to lose their trade licences.

The district administration has also launched a helpline where the public can file complaints about such instances by dialling the toll free number —18003453628.

The district administration and officials of the supply department are concerned that some petrol pumps may be duping customers in this manner.

Hence, under this initiative, officials will pay surprise visits, during which they will check the measuring glass cylinders and dispensing pump to check tampering in any manner.

“When a person pays for a litre of petrol or diesel, he should receive the exact quantity he is being charged for by a petrol pump. But there is possibility of petrol pumps duping unsuspecting customers by providing them with less fuel than is actually due to them. For instance, a petrol pump may charge a person for one litre of petrol, while in reality providing him or her 50-100 millilitres less. Hence, the district administration together with the supply department will conduct a drive soon to check such anomalies on the part of the large number of petrol pumps operating here,” said a senior official of the supply department.

During the drive, an executive magistrate accompanied by officials of the food and civil supplies department will pay surprise visits to petrol pumps here.

They will inspect the measuring glass cylinder, which should show the exact amount of fuel being dispensed into the tank of a vehicle at a given time.

Moreover, the inside cover of the dispensing pump should bear the seal of the oil company from which the fuel is being distributed.

They will check if the seal has been tampered with in any manner. If found guilty, strict action will be initiated against the owners of petrol pumps.

“Legal action can be initiated against those petrol pumps involved in duping customers under the Essential Commodities Act, 1955. FIRs can be filed against them and we can even close down these pumps by cancelling their trade licences. The public can also call our toll-free number and complain against the petrol pump where he believes he has received less fuel and we will raid it based on his information,” said the official.

According to the marketing discipline guidelines, oil companies can also fine franchise petrol pumps if they engage in such acts.

Oil companies can fine an erring franchise nearly Rs 25,000 in case of a first offence, about Rs 50,000 in case of a second offence and cancel its contract with the franchise in case of the third offence.