12 tankers, 21 barrels of aviation fuel seized

Food and Civil Supplies Minister Dinesh Gundu Rao, on Thursday, said 21 barrels of suspected Aviation Turbine Fuel (ATF) and 12 tankers have been seized for allegedly trying to divert the fuel to black market near Baglur on the outskirts of Bangalore and cases have been booked against the truck drivers and owners.

Briefing reporters, he said officials seized 12 ATF tankers from the unloading point at Devanahalli airport. These tankers had just unloaded the ATF at the facility being managed by a joint venture company of the state-owned Indian Oil Corporation.

The transporters had tampered with the vehicles to steal the fuel. Nine out of 12 vehicles failed the calibration tests conducted by the legal metrology department.

“Difference in calibration was mainly due to tampering of spring plates. It was done in such a way that vehicles shows excess quantity while unloading and possibly short quantity at the time of loading” he added.Besides, chassis of the vehicles were extended to increase their length.

“It is suspected that the length of the tankers has been increased to manipulate the location of the manhole so as to shift it from the exact centre of the compartment and also possibly to cause more oscillations in the stored fuel. By doing so it gives higher dip level reading than the actual,” the minister said. Tampering is an offence under Motor Vehicles Act and makes the vehicle liable for concellation of fitness certificate. “This is a serious issue. The stolen fuel was used in tar mixing plants near Yalahanka.”

“ We have written to petroleum ministry and Kempe Gowda International airport authorities to look into the issue and take action,” Gundu Rao said. Cases have been booked under various section of Essential Commodities Act and Motor Vehicles Act, he added.

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