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Missing fuel at Citco’s Sector-17 pump: Retired judicial officer to conduct inquiry

By Munieshwer A Sagar, Chandigarh
UPDATED ON SEP 28, 2020 12:13 AM IST

A retired judicial officer has been entrusted with the inquiry into the case of missing petrol and diesel at Chandigarh Industrial and Tourism Development Corporation (Citco) petrol pump at Sector 17.

The case pertains to the misappropriation of around 20,000 litres of petrol and diesel detected at the Sector-17 fuel station in May this year after Citco management ordered physical verification of its petrol pumps. The management has pegged the loss incurred by Citco at more than Rs 12 lakh.

Confirming the development, Jaswinder Kaur Sidhu, managing director, Citco, said, “We have marked an inquiry into the matter. Additional sessions judge BR Bansal (retired) will head the probe. We will take strict action in case of any wrongdoing on the part of the Citco employees is confirmed after the inquiry report is submitted.”

In March this year, Citco management had ordered inspections of its petrol pumps in Sector 9 and Sector 17. But, due to the Covid-19 lockdown, the same could not take place. These were finally conducted in May after the lockdown restrictions were eased.

The petrol and diesel stocks in the Sector-9 petrol pump were found as per the record and norms. But, in the investigation of the Sector-17 pump, serious irregularities in the stocks of three categories of fuels were reported.

The investigation revealed that the pump’s stock register, dip register and daily sales register were not updated correctly. As per the set standards of the HPCL, around 7,500 litre diesel and about 13,000 litre petrol was found to be less than stipulated by the record and company norms. Shortages were also found in power petrol. CNG storage was found to be in tune with the stipulated norms after its meter readings were noted.

Consequently, Citco sought clarifications regarding the shortage from the HPCL and its employees posted at the petrol.

After investigations, it found that shortage of some of the fuel was because of its seepage into the ground. “The deficiency of around 10,000 litre was due to the leakages caused by faulty constructions of the underground storage facility. The reason for the shortage of the remaining fuel is being ascertained,” said a senior Citco official.

The corporation has issued show-cause notices to four of its employees who were supervisors at the petrol pump during the period when the shortages have said to taken place.

Meanwhile, Citco has also claimed compensation from the company for the faulty construction of the underground storage tanks. “Company has in turn initiated action against the contractor who built the tanks, and asked for financial damages from it,” the official added.

Fuel Fiddle

SHORTAGE

After physical verification and record checking, 7,500 litre diesel and 13,000 litre petrol was found missing

REASON

While some of the fuel loss was due to seepage/leakages, major loss was suspected because of impropriety

ACTION SO FAR

Show-cause notices have issued to four supervisors at the petrol pump; retired judicial officer entrusted with an inquiry

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