New Delhi: After raids found petrol pumps using chips to cheat customers, Union Oil Minister Dharmendra Pradhan on Monday ordered surprise checks at all fuel pumps in Uttar Pradesh.
The Uttar Pradesh Special Task Force (STF) conducted raids on 11 petrol pumps in Lucknow and found out alleged stealing of 50 ml of fuel in every litre dispensed to customers.
"We have initiated action against respective field officers. The strictest possible action will be taken against guilty petrol pumps, including termination of licence," PTI quoted Pradhan as saying.
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âThough the responsibility of right quantity of product dispensed lies with state governments as their weights and measures department installs seals on dispensing units, two officials of state-owned fuel retailers have been suspended following the raids,â Pradhan added.
The oil marketing company representatives will accompany the UP police STF and officials of the state's weights and measures department, the food and civil supply department for inspection of all petrol pumps in Uttar Pradesh, Pradhan said.
The minister also said that the responsibility to ensure proper measurement lies with the state's weights and measure department, but as owners, oil marketing companies also have to share the blame.
"Surprise checks on fuel stations are to be conducted across the country," he said.
A seven-member police team comprising Inspector and Sub-Inspector rank officials has been constituted by UP government to probe the entire racket. The team will be monitored by the SSP.
Of the 11 petrol pumps raided, electronic chips were found at nine fuel stations, three of which belong to Indian Oil Corporation (IOC) and the remaining Bharat Petroleum Corporation Ltd BPCL).
The oil minister has spoken to Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath as well as the state chief secretary and the DGP on the issue.
The central and state governments have decided to hold a meeting in Lucknow in light of the raids, which will be chaired by the state chief secretary and will be attended by representatives of the Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Gas and fuel retailers.
All petrol pumps in Uttar Pradesh will be re-assessed by a team comprising representatives from the state government's weights and measures department, the civil supplies department, the special task force and OMCs.
Pradhan hoped that the state will extend full cooperation as the annual supervision-cum-certification of fuel delivery units at fuel stations is carried out by the local government concerned, PTI reported.
Pradhan also said that the consumer interest is paramount and strict action will be taken against those found guilty.
Those dealers violating the Marketing Discipline Guidelines (MDG) will also face action amounting to even termination of licences, he warned.