Your friendly neighbourhood sweet shop could be using illegally acquired fuel to make your favourite delicacies, as a citizen discovered recently.
On October 31, Gurupreet Singh Anand, a computer consultant, and a resident of Lokhandwala, made a stop at a petrol pump at the Khira Nagar junction in Santacruz (west). While in the queue to fill petrol in his scooter, he noticed the attendant filling a huge plastic can with diesel for a man.
When he asked them what they were doing, he didn’t get a proper answer from either of the two persons. On questioning further, the man replied that he was an employee of a famous Rajasthan-based sweet shop in Santacruz. He told Anand that he was buying diesel as fuel for his stove to make sweets for Diwali. “Petrol pump employees cannot give petrol/diesel in a can or a bottle. It is a crime. The man (sweet shop employee) also told me that he bought subsidised diesel on a regular basis,” said the 40-year-old Anand. The alert citizen immediately informed the control room of the Santacruz police station.
Police officials registered an FIR against Balveersingh Khushalsingh Negi (40) and Mukesh Ramdev Laldev (30) under sections 3, 7, 8 and 10 of Essential Commodities Act, 1955 and Motor Spirit And High-Speed Diesel Order, 2005. “We have booked the petrol pump attendants and sweet shop employees. The matter is under investigation,” said Arun Chavan, senior inspector, Santacruz police station. Despite several attempts, no petrol pump employee was available for comment.
Diesel sold in black
Commercial establishments are supposed to use commercial cylinders for their cooking purposes. Earlier, to cut down expenses, eateries and shops used to procure home cylinders. The government recently reduced subsidies on home cylinders, making their cost almost the same as that of a commercial cylinder. Thus, joints have shifted to buying diesel in black to suit their fuel needs and save on costs. Hotels, bakeries, sweet shops all over India are now switching to using subsidised diesel for cooking purposes, even though it is illegal for them to do so.