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HindustanTimes Sat,20 Dec 2014

Fuel expenses continue to eat into MC funds

Arjun Sharma, Hindustan Times  Ludhiana, March 18, 2013
First Published: 22:10 IST(18/3/2013) | Last Updated: 22:12 IST(18/3/2013)

Unable to rein in “pilferage of fuel”, municipal corporation has allocated an additional Rs. 1.5 crore for fuel and oil for vehicles and generators in this year’s budget.

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While the MC had allocated Rs. 13.65 crore in 2011 for fuel, oil and lubricants, it set aside Rs. 14.50 crore in 2012, and added another Rs. 1.50 crore to take it to Rs. 16 crore this year.

The civic body had suffered a loss of Rs. 2.65 lakh in 2011-12 due pilferage of fuel in vehicles of top officials. With MC officials themselves flouting norms, the already cash-strapped body has been struggling to meet expenses.

According to an audit report of the Motor Vehicle Board of Punjab, most of the top officials of the MC have used more fuel than the prescribed limits set by the government.

The audit report states, “As per instructions issued by the Motor Vehicle Board, Government of Punjab, limit of consumption of petrol has been prescribed for petrol and diesel vehicles. Accordingly the limit of consumption of petrol has been fixed at 290 litres per month per vehicle.”

The report states that a total of 3,744 litres of fuel was used in access by the officials that resulted in financial loss to the MC in 2011-12.

It further states, “If the fuel is consumed in excess of prescribed limit, recovery of excess petrol consumed will be made from the officer concerned.”

However, this was not done during the period that resulted in loss of funds.

Interestingly, in a bid to keep a check on pilferage of fuel, MC has now started a system in which filling stations have been asked to send an SMS as soon as fuel is filled in any MC vehicle.

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