The tampering with the fuel dispensing system at filling stations has shocked not only consumers but officials of oil companies too. They have promised to take strict action against the dealers who have cheated the consumers.
Talking to the media on Friday, executive director, Indian Oil Corporation Avinash Varma and state head of Bharat Petroleum Raman Mallick said that they had already started raids on petrol pumps to ensure that no more chips were installed in dispensers. An internal inquiry had also started and dealership of the dealers found guilty would be terminated.
- The system introduced to prevent oil theft made printing of bill essential after dispensing petrol at the dispensers.
- The system requires bill to be produced on every transaction.
- The system was such that no bill would be produced unless the last drop of petrol was out of the dispenser.
- Earlier, the bills were produced only on the request of the consumer.
“We don’t want to point fingers as we are waiting for the final report from the STF. However, the sales officers will have to explain why the stock register had errors, why there were no proper entries of oil sold and why the stock inside the petrol pump was more than the sale shown. They will also have to explain why they gave a clean chit to the petrol pumps without a thorough checking,” said Avinash Varma.
He said the officials were taken aback as the third generation dispensing system was considered to be tamper proof. The company invested a huge amount to ensure this.
“We have invited officials of companies providing dispensers to see how it was done and how the chips were fitted inside despite the seal outside dispensers. This is worrisome,” he said.
In an attempt to check malpractices in dispensation of petrol at the filling stations, the oil companies came up with a new software called ‘No Print No Delivery System (NPND)’ in 2013 but now with this expose, it is proved that the system was not tamper proof for the fraudsters . They were able to break the system and steal oil despite highly sophisticated dispensers.
Why fraudsters were successful?
The petrol pumps stopped producing bills and made the theft possible. The mistake of sales officers was that they never insisted on bills, nor checked the stock regularly.
Officials admit that there are 6,300 petrol pumps across the state and 150 inside the state capital. So if 20% of them were cheating, they were duping the consumers of crores per day. This amounts to a big scam.
According to the norms, deviation of more than 25 ml is not permitted on every 5 litre of petrol supply. But in this case, pumps were giving 120 ml less per litre and this fraud went undetected as the machine showed full reading due to remote control device.