Petrol pump staff catch oil tanker from Hassan with over 200 litres missing
Mysore/Mysuru: A fuel tanker transporting petrol from Hassan was found carrying less fuel — approximately 200 litres — this morning and alert petrol pump staff refused to refill their underground storage tanks. Devaraja Police and officials from Department of Weights & Measures had to intervene.
While a Police case will be registered if the fuel has been stolen, an elaborate process is being followed now to measure the exact fuel present in the tanker and match the same with the fuel loaded onto the tanker at Hassan. The tanker arrived at Sri Ganesh Service Station on JLB Road near the City Railway Station from Hassan and the petrol pump staff found that the electronically locked tanker has been tampered with. They later used the dip rod or the dipstick to measure fuel levels in the tanker.
The process involves manually dipping a long rod into a tank to determine the amount of fuel inside. The staff found that the fuel has been stolen and they immediately alerted Nirmala, the owner of the service station. The staff refused to refill the underground tank and informed the Devaraja Police and the Department of Weights and Measures.
Officials from Hindustan Petroleum Corporation Limited (HPCL) and Indian Oil Corporation Limited (IOCL) were also informed and they arrived at the scene to measure the fuel quantity. IOCL Association Secretary Ranjit Hegde and Mohit of Petrol Bunk Traders Association also arrived.
According to Ranjit Hegde, there is a huge oil mafia in Mysuru that steal fuel from tankers coming out of oil depots. Keeping a check on incidents of fuel theft from oil tankers, which are supposed to transport them from oil depots to petrol pumps has become a challenge, he said. They also use duplicate dip rods for tampering with the measurement of fuel quantity inside the tankers.
“There is huge money involved here and we suspect that over 200 litres have been stolen from this particular tank, which is equal to Rs. 20,000. These people cheat regularly while we dealers just get Rs. 2,000 to Rs. 3,000 per tanker, he added.
Thieves even change the design of the tankers by making cavities inside them to steal the fuel. Recently, the Hassan SP seized over 54 tankers that had mini tankers inside designed to steal fuel. All the tanker owners were blacklisted and cases were booked,” Ranjit told Star of Mysore.
After stealing oil in large quantities, thieves store it in houses and storage places for sale on the black market. Earlier investigations revealed that as fuel was supplied to petrol pumps from depots and refineries through tankers, criminals opened the chamber with a duplicate key and regularly stole around 100 to 200 litres of fuel from each oil tanker.