Raids on gas agency of Oil Minister Pradhan's brother
Raids were conducted by the anti-corruption vigilance wing at several petrol pumps and cooking gas agencies, including the one belonging to the brother of Union minister Dharmendra Pradhan, in Odisha following allegation of adulteration and black-marketing.
Based on the allegation of black-marketing of cooking gas by agencies, adulteration of diesel, petrol and lubricants and its sale in lesser quantity, searches were conducted yesterday in places like Koraput, Nawarangpur, Puri, Bhubaneswar, Berhampur, Balsore, Sambalpur, Bargarh, Angul and Cuttack, a vigilance statement said.
The premises searched included a gas agency of a brother of Union Petroleum Minister Dharmendra Pradhan at Talcher in Angul district. While Pradhan was not immediately available for comment, BJP state general Secretary Prithviraj Harichandan alleged that the move was an example of misuse of vigilance by the BJD government.
The vigilance officers were assisted by the officers of Civil Supplies Department and Legal Metrology Department in conducting the surprise checks, the statement said, adding certain irregularities were detected in some places.
While some filling stations showed shortage and excess stocks, some outlets were found to be delivering lesser volume of fuel to customers, it said, adding that in a service station at Puri defects were detected in calibration of the equipment of the filling station.
Shortage of 40 Gas cylinders (filled) was found in a gas godown. During further inquiry, it was found that the gas cylinders were unuthorisedly sold to a man in Talcher without any document, the vigilance statement said.
During the course of surprise check, samples of petrol and diesel were collected from the petrol/diesel tanks and were sealed in presence of Proprietors/ Managers/Salesmen of the respective filling stations for the purpose of chemical examination to ascertain percentage of adulteration, it said.
During the check, it was also detected that many filling stations did not possess a valid explosive licence which is required under the Explosive Act and Rules. The Chief Controller of Explosive is being moved to take appropriate action against retail filling stations for selling petrol and diesel in retail without a valid explosive licence, it said.
Appropriate steps are also being taken to initiate action against defaulting filling stations and their proprietors for violation of the provisions of the Essential Commodities Act and other relevant Acts.
Further, state vigilance is also moving Collectors and District Magistrates of different districts to initiate proper legal action against defaulting petrol pumps under the relevant provisions of law.