‘Rogue’ drivers on the rise

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IMPHAL, Sep 9: The number of rogue drivers of IOC’s fuel transporters who are defiant and hard to be controlled is increasing. Notwithstanding the steel locking system fitted to oil tankers so that drivers cannot open the tanks until they reach Imphal from the loading points of Assam, many of the drivers cut the rods used for locking tanks and they have been siphoning off and/or adulterating fuels on the way.

This fraudulent practice is known to the authority but no concrete action has been taken up yet, informed a source. There was a case of mysterious disappearance of 2000 litres of fuel between Malom depot and Sangaiprou oil pump. An oil tanker after reaching Malom depot from the loading points of Assam was taking the fuel-load to a Sangaiprou oil pump but the quantity of fuel was found lesser by 2000 litres. The concerned transporter was later made to pay for the disappeared quantity of fuel.

The disappearance of 2000 litres of fuel on such a short distance between Malom and Sangaiprou indicated that depot officials did not properly check the quality and quantity of fuel ferried from Assam, said the source. A complaint was lodged for the missing 2000 litres of fuel. Subsequently the driver and the particular transporter under whom the driver has been working were summoned and they were forced to pay for the missing fuel.

Yet such fraudulent practices of oil tanker drivers evoked a serious question on the IOC’s mechanism of checking quantity and quality of fuels ferried from Assam. Meanwhile one official of Malom depot confided that they are having hard time trying to monitor rogue oil tanker drivers.

Officials had a hard time persuading oil tanker drivers to go for ferrying fuels when the condition of highways was pathetic and law and order situation was volatile.
The authority is aware of the fraudulent practices of drivers. But they would grudge at the time of going for ferrying fuels if any action is initiated against them. Even if they have left Imphal, they would deliberately delay their journey back.

The disappearance of 2000 litres of fuel between Malom depot and Sangaiprou oil pump was a very rare case. Quality of fuels are checked before standing TTs lined up at the depot are dispatched but the quantity is not checked.

If the quantity of fuel brought to an oil pump by an oil tanker does not match the allocated quantity, it is up to the oil pump owner whether the lesser quantity of fuel should be unloaded at the pump or not. As for cases where IOC receives complaints, enquiry is done and necessary actions are always taken up , said the official. In the meantime, maximum efforts are being invested to make all the storage tanks of Malom depot full. As the depot officials have been focusing their attention on making the storage tanks full, standing TTs are sent away to oil pumps after checking the quality of fuels they are carrying but some drivers have been taking advantage of this practice. Once the storage tanks of the depot are full, fuels will be allocated to oil pumps from the depot’s storage tanks. By that time, drivers would not be able to indulge in fraudulent practices, added the official.

Source: The Sangai Express

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