Money

Baglamukhi Oil Stores sealed for giving short measure

- Rajesh Khanal

Nov 12, 2018-

The Nepal Bureau of Standards and Metrology (NBSM) on Sunday sealed Baglamukhi Oil Stores in Sano Bharyang, Kathmandu, for giving customers the short measure. The operator manipulated the software in the digital dispensing system to cheat customers by giving them up to 3.2 percent less petrol than they paid for, said the NBSM Director General Bishwo Babu Pudasaini.

The system had been tampered with to suit the operators’ will. “The system operates in normal mode when the attendants give general instruction to the software just to avoid scrutiny by the government monitoring team,” he said.  

Three years ago, the police grilled a number of petrol pumps in the Kathmandu Valley under similar incidents. These fuel stations were found using chips and remote control to cheat the consumers. Pudasaini said they grilled Baglamukhi Oil Stores based on complaints that they received from the motorists. “Previously, we made a number of attempts to find out the malpractices conducted by the petrol pump,” said Pudasaini adding that they had planned to cross check other petrol pumps that have been using similar digitalised dispensers.

According to him, the proprietor of the fuel store will face action under the new Civil Code. “If the petrol pump’s owner is found guilty, we may seize the operating licence as well,” Pudasaini said.

There are around 120 gasoline stations operating in the valley. About 15 percent of them have been suspected in conducting malpractice, says NBSM.

Pudasaini said the department has issued circular to fuel stations not to use technicians until it has completed the investigations of all the petrol pumps in the Valley. “We have also asked the concerned officials and the police to increase vigilance of the suspected petrol pumps.”

As per the NBSM, last month, the department also found similar malpractice in three fuel stations operating in Bara district. “We have received approval of the government attorney and will file cases against these petrol pumps shortly,” Pudasaini said.

Two weeks ago, a joint market inspection team led by the Department of Supply Management and Protection of Consumers Interest slapped Bhadrakali Oil Store in Gothatar with a fine of Rs200,000 for giving customers short measure.

The petrol pump had tampered with the fuel dispenser to dispense 25-35 millilitres less for every litre of gasoline than what customers were paying for. As per the law, a short measure of up to 10-15 millilitres for every litre of gasoline is permissible.

Market inspection teams have also uncovered short measure scams in which gasoline traders used cards or chips activated by remote control to show wrong measures. Such chips were being used in fuel stations fitted with both digital and manual systems. The wrongdoers were let off with minor punishments.

Published: 12-11-2018 10:11

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