LUCKNOW: Initiating action against petrol pumps for fuel pilferage through a remote-controlled chip fixed in oil dispensing machines, the Uttar Pradesh government got FIRs lodged against 60 petrol pump owners during the last two days, following the completion of a probe against the errant fuel pumps.
While 46 people were arrested in this connection, 74 petrol pumps were seized based on the findings of the probe report. Besides, action was expected against 194 other petrol pumps which were found pilfering fuel and involved in short measuring. Their licences would also be cancelled, said the authorities concerned.
Even the relatives of the pump owners facing action would not be given a licence for running the pumps in future. “It will be left to the oil companies. They can run the pump on their own or shut it down,” said a government official.
According to Food and Civil Supplies commissioner Ajay Chauhan, the probe into 6,600 petrol pumps across the state concluded on Monday and 29 pump owners were booked the same day. Continuing the crackdown, the dealership of five petrol pumps in Lucknow, Balrampur, Hardoi, Gorakhpur, and Mahoba was cancelled on Tuesday. On Monday, similar action was taken against six petrol pumps in different districts.
The Special Task Force (STF) of the UP police had busted the racket and the government backed up the probe by setting up teams at the district level.
The High Court had earlier pulled up the state government for sluggish action against the offenders and had questioned its decision to withdraw the STF from the probe. According to sources, after the petrol pump owners, axe may fall on Food and Civil Supplies officials. The district supply officer and the weight and measurement officer, under whom the fuel pilferage racket was flourishing, may face action.