An increasing number of complaints have been coming in regarding petrol-dispensing machines at several pumps in the city jamming midway, which consumers claim is a tactic being employed by the dealers to profit from.
Consumers allege that despite the recent fuel hike being a bad enough burden, many petrol dealers in the city are adding to their woes through this alleged practice. Petrol pumps have an automatic system that dispenses the exact volume of fuel as punched into the machine by the attendant. But according to complaints, several pumps in the city jam up midway, thereby putting the consumer on the losing end.
“When one asks the attendant to fill up for say Rs 200, the machine dispenses petrol worth around Rs 30 or Rs 50 and then allegedly jams. Then the attendant restarts the machine and fills petrol for the balance amount. We end up losing as we have not got the amount of petrol we have paid for,” said vehicle owner Abhishek Bartakke.
He claims that he has faced this experience several times at a petrol pump near Rosary School in Camp. “After this happens, the average of my vehicle drops considerably, which can only mean that I have not got the number of litres that I have paid for,” Bartakke said.
Ali Daruwala, spokesperson, Maharashtra Petrol Dealers Association, said, “All the technical problems are avoided in the newly installed automatic system. It doesn’t get stuck after a certain amount. This is wrong and if people are facing such a problem from a particular petrol pump, they can directly complaint to concerned company supplying the pumps. Every company displays an email ID where consumers can send in their grievances.”
Speaking to MiD DAY, IT professional Rahul Bhunde said he has been fighting against such malpractices by continuously sending mails to the company, but no action has been initiated. “I have faced this issue at Daulat Petrol Pump near Bhugaon. Pump workers refused to set the machine and when I insisted, they used offensive language.
I sent a mail to the Bharat Petroleum and was following up on the matter for three months, but I finally gave up. Generally, persons with political links own these pumps. They don’t follow the norms and not afraid of any action,” Bhunde said.