Gas stations sealed for giving short measure

- Post Report, Kathmandu

Mar 31, 2017-

A government market monitoring team has shut down two gasoline stations in Thimi, Bhaktapur for cheating customers by giving them short measure. 

One of the two offending filling stations caught by the team from the Ministry of Supplies is operated by the Armed Police Force.

On Wednesday, the monitoring team sealed one of the fuel dispensers at Guheswori Petrol Pump which is run by the Armed Police Force.

“The outlet has been using a digitalized dispenser. We found out that it was giving short measure of 4.5 millilitres to a measurement of 1 litre,” said Shree Ram Bhatta, a ministry official. As per government rules, gasoline stations are allowed a variation of 15 millilitres to a measurement of 5 litres. 

According to Nepal Oil Corporation (NOC) records, Guheswori sells about 16,000 litres of diesel daily. “Calculated on the basis of this figure, the filling station has been making an illegal profit of Rs5,580 daily,” Bhatta said.

The Nepal Bureau of Standards and Metrology (NBSM) and NOC had checked Guheswori Petrol Pump on two different occasions last year, but did not find any misconduct. 

On Thursday, the joint market monitoring team caught Bagmati Oil Supplier of Thimi for cheating customers. It was giving short measure of 350 millilitres to a measurement of 5 litres.

The gasoline station had doctored the measuring device to give a false reading by breaking the security wire put by the NBSM, said Bhatta. The NBSM is authorised to regulate measuring instruments.

According to Bhatta, the attendants at Bagmati Oil Supplier fled after the monitoring team discovered the broken security wire. 

“We have sealed the petrol pump with the help of the Police Circle, Thimi,” he said.

The regulatory body’s inspection reports have remained confined to paper, and no action has been taken against such errant firms, said Bishnu Prasad Timilsina, secretary at Consumers’ Right Protection Forum Nepal.

“Lack of stern action against wrongdoers has led to a growth of such cases,” Timilsina said. According to him, there are greater chances of motorists being cheated by gasoline stations using manual dispensers. 

“Even government officials have been found promoting market malpractices,” he said, adding that unless stern action was taken, the practice of consumers being cheated would not stop. 

The ministry has forbidden the two offending filling stations from selling gasoline. It has also instructed them to appear with a clarification within three days. The cases will be forwarded to the NBSM, NOC and Department of Supply Management for further action, Bhatta said.

Published: 31-03-2017 09:39

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