Lucknow pumps on strike, resume work
Several petrol pumps here went on a flash strike on Tuesday against police raids, causing inconvenience to commuters. The strike was later called off.
Earlier raids at petrol pumps by the police Special Task Force had busted a major racket duping consumers selling less fuel at high price. The racket involved use of chips and remote controls.
After the sudden shutdown on Tuesday, the District Magistrate called a meeting with the pump owners, following which the strike was called off.
The authorities promised there would be no victimisation.
Uttar Pradesh government spokesman and Health Minister Siddharthanath Singh, however, ruled out any laxity in the action against errant petrol pumps involved in the racket.
He said the government would not succumb to any pressure.
"Let me make it very clear that there will be no let up in the checking of petrol pumps. The raids will continue but we can assure that no innocent person will be harassed," he added.
Petrol pump owners said if any machine was found compromised, that alone should be sealed and not the entire pump.
It was also agreed that a Magistrate would come along during the surprise checks.
In Lucknow alone, over two dozen petrol pumps were sealed earlier after the fuel filling machines were found compromised. As many as 23 persons, including managers, pump owners, staff and electricians, were arrested.
Union Petroleum Minister Dharmendra Pradhan has ordered an audit of petrol pumps across Uttar Pradesh and also other states to check similar illegal practices.