In a swift response by the government to make fuel available to the public, an official team of Consumer Affairs, Food and Public Distribution (CAFPD) led by its director Yumnam Ranjan along with a police team led by additional SP, Priyadarshini Laishram conducted surprise raids in petrol pumps today at Imphal West.
The raid began at PC/TC oil city ,Khuyathong in the morning at around 8.30 am.
Afterwards, the team went to M/s JAS Gas Agency at Uripok. A ‘Petrol Nil’ sign was displayed at the pump, but on checking, there was 10 KL of petrol and 12 KL of Diesel. Imphal West SP, Herojit along with OC, Dinesh also arrived at the spot.
The owner was questioned and the curt reply came that they were about to open the pump. However, director Ranjan stated that proper action will be initiated against the retail outlet.
Another similar raid at M/s Uripok Energy Station also remained closed although having enough diesel in stock for distribution. The pump was also used as a winger parking lot. The team on checking the diesel suspected that it was adulterated with kerosene.
Afterwards, similar raids at M/s Nilo Singh outlet at Patsoi, Singjamei NRL and other pumps were conducted. Most were open but all the NRL outlets were found closed.
It may be mentioned that an attack on tanker drivers at Kangpokpi on May 1 had left a driver injured. Afterwards, many pumps started closing down immediately and the price at the black market soared up.
Sources state that it is a clandestine habit of the pump owners to profit from the black market by closing down the pumps as any news of bandhs and blockades come into light. The public also adds to the petrol racket by panic buying.
Chief Minister N Biren had issued directive yesterday that the pumps should be checked and ascertain which pumps given due allocation by the Indian Oil Corporation and which pumps are not conducting sales.
The raid by the CAF and PD yielded positive results by finding two petrol pumps conducting similar exercise of stockpiling and not selling the fuel thereby creating an artificial scarcity in the process. Ranjan Yumnam stated that the erring pump owners will be punished as per the law.
It was also suspected that the many petrol pumps despite having enough stock were holding back sales till morning, but on receiving information that the raid was underway, started to open up.
Ranjan stated that there will be future raids and the department will ensure proper distribution of petroleum product in future in the interest of the public.
Source: Imphal Free Press