If you thought only shopkeepers and vendors use faulty weights, think again.
A spot inspection at the Tatanagar railway parcel office on Wednesday led to the seizure of a non-standard weight (not conforming to International System of Units or SI standards).
Following frequent complaints from consumers, the East Singhbhum district weight and measures department launched a rectification drive to check anomalies in instruments used at various government establishments, arguably in the first such exercise in Jamshedpur.
"We seized the weight at the railway parcel office for two reasons. First, it was not of the standard weight, as it was based on mann, a unit which has become obsolete and not listed in SI standards. The calibration too was faulty. One mann is roughly 40kg, but it was found to be 37kg during measurements at the parcel office," said inspector, weights and measures, Sangeeta Bara.
A four-member team led by Bara carried out surprise inspections at the parcel office, Krishi Utpadan Bazaar Samiti ' a wing of Jharkhand State Agricultural Marketing Board ' and the Bistupur GPO on Wednesday.
At the railway office, the team issued an on-the-spot letter to the chief parcel superintendent, levying a penalty of Rs 5,000 for using the non-standard weight.
At Bistupur GPO, it served a notice to the senior postal officer for using four electronic weight machines without certification from the weight and measurement department.
"There were three electronic machines of 20kg each and one electronic weight machine of 50kg. We have served a notice to get certification after verification at our office within a week. If they fail to do so, we will again conduct a surprise inspection and punishment will be given under the provisions of the Legal Metrology Act," Bara added.
At the Krishi Utpadan Bazaar Samiti in Parsudih, a notice was served to a fruits wholesaler for using weights without certification.
According to the Legal Metrology Act, 2009, users of traditional weights have to get the equipment certified by the department office every two years. Those using electronic measurement devices need certification for weights on an annual basis.
A first-time offender has to pay a fine ranging from Rs 2,000 to Rs 10,000, while those caught twice or more can expect a jail term of six months.
State controller (weight and measures) K.C. Choudhary said directives had been issued to not spare even public sector and government establishments. "It will be a sustained campaign," he said.
And added: "Earlier, we were restricting our inspection, a part of our weight rectification drive, to shops and private establishments dealing with consumers. But now we will be act against government establishment."
The controller said the inspection would be carried out under the stipulated provisions of the act, implemented in the state since April 2011.
"Those found using weights without verification will be served notices to get the equipment verified. Non-standard weights will be seized on the spot," said the controller.