TODAY -

An unpalatable experience when an oil pump took me for a 'pumpy' ride

Samarjit Kambam *



There were many cases where consumers come up with tale of woes and ugly experiences associated with oil pumps in various regions of our nation and cities of India which was in the news recently. Petrol pumps in Manipur are no exception.

In our everyday lives where everyone is busy as a result of lives where everyone is busy as a result of the world getting competitive, we are too tight with our schedule that we are totally unaware of what the umpteen oil pumps and playing their sinister games which we are completely unaware or taken off-guard.

I have come across many occasions where tampering of meter takes place in almost all oil pumps operating in the valley. For those who came in late, let me make myself very clear to you that the oil tankers mostly coming from Guwahati and other regions of Assam carry out their permutations and cominations at isolated locations such as big godowns or storehouses before they reach bottling plant of the state .

Once they reach oil pumps, the oil is highly compsomised. This doesn't imply that all oil pumps do it. Example may be cited of NRL (Numaligarh Refinery Limited) at Khurai Thangjam Leikai and M/s Phulchand Trilokchand at north AOC where ethics is maintained. Other pumps are all compromised in one way or the other.

There were times when the oil being loaded in passenger vehicles do not reach the desired quantity after filling at oil pumps. I have experienced such status quo umpteen times. l am sanguine that many of you also have gone through this same ordeal. Say, the quantity of oil for the same money is different from one pump to another. There are some other pumps in the valley areas where your vehicle won't even start after refueling.

It was a magnanimous gesture from the side of Indian Oil Corporation (OIC) that they sent their representatives to check various oil pumps operating in Manipur to find out tampering of chips and compromising on oil quality. The concerned oil pumps use their dexterity to convince the representatives that everything is alright. Once the representatives of IOC or any other relevant authority are gone, then the same process starts all over again. This is Manipur, as we all know.

I had gone through many unpalatable experiences at oil pumps. Most of the time, the oil refuelled never goes at par with the amount of your hard earned money. Instead of waiting for the government, each one of us can carry out our parts, however small, check and to help and eagle eyes on the nefarious activities I oil pumps.

Student bodies and various civil society organizations need to carry out surprise checks at oil pumps whether they are functioning properly without cheating the consumers. Of all the many indigestible incidents which I have gone through, it is for kind info of readers that an oil pump in Imphal is one of the worst. I don't really know the name of the oil pump.

The reason why I am bringing up this issue is that they are fooling the customers and taking them for a ride sans petrol/diesel. On 15th of this month, me and my wife refueled petrol enroute for Rs. Litres. To my utter surprise, the oil indicator of my car which is a Honda City did not budge a milimetre. I thought that the indicator may rise after some time.

However, after going for about I kilometre, the vehicle stopped as the tank ran out of oil and had to refuel 3 litres of petrol from Lamlong Bazar from a black market.

It simply and logically implied that, it is not being refueled after all even though the meter of the oil pump was rolling. Furious, I went to the oil pump. It was almost dark, and they were closing the pumps and were on the state of checking out the math on the sale proceeds of the day with their shutter doors all pulled down. 1 complained to them that no oil was going inside the tank of my vehicle.

I narrated everything. But they could not buy my story, my story had no taker. I felt like an idiot like a wrong person at the wrong time and place. However, the complaint, instead of yielding any positive result or development was a pyrrhic victory to me.

They came up with so many excuses that my car's fuel gauge meter may not be functioning properly but it was me who had been driving the vehicle and knew more than them regarding my vehicle. I was also told to come with a " beaker/container to refuel my vehicle. What a lame excuse.'' Nobody carries a container to refuel their passenger vehicle except for business purposes.

I asked them " Do I have to lose my money then: But they were adamant with the stand saying that it was beyond their control. What a stupid comment, what a lame excuse. Well, losing' 500 bucks is not the end of the world, I would never go for refueling at the particular pump in the future which leans they will be losing one regular customer.'

I could have put up a case in a court regarding this issue, but I decided against it for a mere 500 bucks. Dear petrolhead or disealheads, please make sure that you are not taken for a ride by these unethical oil pump personnel.


* Samarjit Kambam wrote this article for The Sangai Express
The writer can be reached at kambamsamarjitO(AT)gmail(DOT)com
This article was posted on December 25, 2017.


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