How raids led to panic, and vanishing of a petrol pump overnight
In a clear indication of the nexus between petrol pump owners and officials, a petrol filling station at Polytechnic Crossing in Lucknow was allowed to apply for maintenance and renewal of fuel dispensers on April 28, a few hours after raids at other fuel outlets.lucknow Updated: May 08, 2017 19:40 IST
Hours after the crackdown on petrol pumps began in Lucknow on Thursday/Friday night, a fully functional outlet managed to vanish overnight along with all of its dispensing machines.
In a clear indication of the nexus between petrol pump owners and officials, Satyam Filling Station at Polytechnic Crossing was allowed to apply for maintenance and renewal of fuel dispensers on April 28, a few hours after raids at other fuel outlets in city.
Not just the permission was granted within hours, pump owner Pankaj Seth was allowed to uproot all his dispensing machines to escape raids on petrol pump by UP STF.
The company authorities and officials of weights and measure departments granted permission to carry out remodeling and refitting of fuel dispensers on the same day itself, admitted Seth.
No wonder the filling station was found dug up on Sunday night when the STF team carried out a raid to check the dispensers.
Surprised over sudden disappearance of dispensers, STF SSP Amit Pathak started the probe to find out the names of officials who gave permission for remodeling and refitting of petrol pump overnight.
He also started probing the role of weights and measure department from where the permission to remove the seal and carry out remodeling work was given, at a time when raids were taking place at other petrol pumps in the city.
“We are trying to know how much time does IOC usually takes to clear such proposals. In this particular case, the owner applied for maintenance and renewal on April 28 and permission was granted the same day. Such fast pace of work is really surprising,” said the STF SSP.
“The officials will have to explain whether proper procedure was followed in granting permission and how all five dispensing units were uprooted on the basis of same permission on Sunday morning itself,” said Pathak.
The fact that not even a single dispenser was left to keep the petrol pump functional and the roof was demolished leaves doubts that only the owner can answer.
Also, why the officials were in hurry to ensure for refitting of petrol pump also raises suspicions.
Cheating chips were later recovered from the dislodged dispensing units and the district administration sealed the fuel station.
Indian Oil Corporation (IOC) authorities transferred its sales officer of Lucknow territory, Ravi Singh for alleged negligence and giving approval for removing the dispensing units without following procedure.
Executive director IOC UP Avinash Varma of IOC didn’t pick up call when called for his version over the issue.