Mumbai: To prevent cheating at petrol pumps, the State government has now decided to carry out an audit of software and hardware of dispensing units of all petrol pumps. After the audit, the responsibility of the cheating will be fixed on oil companies.
Girish Bapat, Food and Civic Supply Minister, said, Maharashtra is the first state in the country to implement such type of measures to prevent petrol theft. “There were complaints from consumers that petrol dealers were cheating consumers while dispensing petrol. The police also raided petrol pumps and found that there were tampering with the software to dispense less amount of petrol. Hence, the government decided to stop this illegal practice,” said Bapat. Amitabh Gupta, Controller, Legal Metrology, formed a committee to find a solution. The committee suggested some reforms in the system and the government decided to implement it.
“The Legal Metrology Act, 2009, has a provision of calibration of petroleum products. According to the Act, the dispensing units are calibrated every year. Even after calibration, there was no transparency and consumers were getting cheated by petrol pump owners. Hence, we decided to carry out an audit of all dispensing units at petrol pumps,” said Bapat. The audit report will cover all hardware and software of the unit. There will be signatures of three representatives i.e. one from oil company, one from the dispensing unit dealer and the manufacturer of the dispensing unit.
“It will fix the responsibility of the tampering if it happens. After the audit, only stamping of the dispensing units will be carried out, that is made compulsory from last week and we also requested Union Minister Dharmendra Pradhan to implement it across the country,” said Bapat.
“Oil companies have been informed to start using potted pulsars that cannot be tampered,” Bapat said.
Gupta said, “The complete computerisation of Legal Metrology Organisation has been started. It will lead to online filling of all applications regarding licences, registration and renewal by users.”
“There are more than 8,000 petrol pumps in the State of various companies having 20,000 to 25,000 dispensing units. After implementation of the audit system, more than 1,000 petrol pumps have been shut temporarily. After fulfilling the formalities, they will re-start again,” said Gupta.
“It will help in stopping tampering in the petrol dispensing unit and consumers will not be cheated,” Gupta added.