Flaws in the system or fuel cartel covertly dictating movements of tankers ?
IOC clueless on whereabouts of 'missing' tankers

Source: The Sangai Express

Imphal, June 23 2010: The disclosure that some oil tankers have not reported back after going to lift fuel from outside Manipur has raised some serious questions over the system followed by the Indian Oil Corporation (IOC), Imphal .

Some discrepancies in the system adopted by IOC surfaced during the course of an independent investigation conducted by The Sangai Express following the disclosure of the Minister of Consumer Affairs, Food and Public Distribution, Y Erabot that 73 oil tankers have gone missing inside Assam.

Every oil tanker registered with IOC, has to have attached facilities for Global Positioning System (GPS) with satellite link up.

With the help of GPS mechanism, the location of the oil tankers can not only be easily detected but also detect the possible siphoning off of the fuel before reaching the destination.

All the 73 oil tankers which have reportedly gone missing too have attached GPS machines.

Gadget for the tankers for GPS

However, the unfortunate part is that once the engine starts roaring, most oil tankers stay cut off from the GPS connection and make them non-functional.

Interacting with The Sangai Express, some of the attendants of oil tankers, which were found stationing at IOC depot at Chingmeirong informed that GPS machine can detect the location of the oil tankers and siphoning off of oil along the road.

They further informed that earlier oil tankers with ineffective GPS machines were not permitted to go for lifting fuel.

Even if such fuel tankers go, they were not allowed to load fuel.

But now it is a different story, with every oil tanker with ineffective GPS machines or otherwise, given the green signal.

Another possible reason for the 73 trucks to go missing or failing to report back after lifting fuel,could be due to the increasing number of vehicles attached to other transporters for lifting fuel.

Over and above their personal oil tankers, these transporters utilise the service of those attached vehicles and the increase in the number of such attached vehicles has led to a situation where it is not possible to monitor the movements of all the tankers which ususally take a diversion from their route.

In such a situation siphoning off the fuel has become the norm rather than an exception.

Transporters take 10 pc of the transportation charge from these attached vehicles.

Since 10 pc has been given, the attached vehicles devise every possible means to gain something in return.

The investigation has also led to the conclusion that IOC has not yet initiated any necessary action in connection with missing of oil tankers.

In this regard, some of the transporters pointed out that the bills of the involved transporters could cancel or other appropriate action could be taken up.

However, no such measures have been deemed fit by the OIC.

According to a reliable source, Director General of Police (DGP) Y Joykumar has instructed the officials of the oil depot at Chingmeirong to blacklist the oil tankers that have failed to report back.

The DGP has also reportedly given instruction to the depot officials as well as the transporters that the oil tankers should use National Highway 53 for lifting of fuel from outside the State.