In a combing operation against fuel adulteration, a team under the Food Distribution Officer seized over 50,000 litres of adulterated fuel worth over Rs 90 lakh.
After receiving a tip, Food Disribution Officer (FDO) Neelima Dhaigude nabbed tankers with adulterated petrol and diesel at Kadambavasti on Pune-Solapur highway.
FDO Dhaigude said that the group took out petrol and diesel from the BPCL and HPCL tankers and mixed kerosene to adulterate it. 1,880 litres of kerosene was confiscated from the garage.
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“We called the officials of both BPCL and HPCL for verification,” said Dhaigude.
Tehsildar DS Kumbhar, Haveli, filed an FIR in the police station against eight persons involved in adulterating petrol and diesel from the Loni Kalbhir terminal. There have been several instances of such adulteration.
After adulteration, the tankers are sent to the city and the rural areas . The ministry is working on a proper GPS system to track tankers so that they cannot go off their presribed routes and adulterate fuel. However, it has yet to be put in place. A proper system will ensure that the tankers do not change their routes and the challans from the terminals cannot be tampered with.
In 2011, the administration had taken action against fuel adulteration mafia and the additional district collector of Nashik was killed in broad daylight after he intercepted the racketeers, catching them red-handed while adulterating petrol and diesel.
The incident had taken place near Manmad in Nashik district on the eve of Republic Day. Yashwant Sonawane, additional district collector of Malegaon, was known for his honesty and integrity and was doused with petrol and kerosene before being set on fire.
Since then, the government has brought stringent laws to arrest people involved in fuel adulteration under the Maharashtra Control of Organised Crime Act (MCOCA).