Oil mafia: Maha govt sat on IAS officer`s report

A 15-year-old report on curbing oil adulteration menace is gathering dust in Maharashtra.

Mumbai: As Maharashtra government cracks
down on the oil mafia in the wake of gruesome murder of
Additional District Collector Yashwant Sonawane, a 15-year-old
report on curbing oil adulteration menace prepared by a former
IAS officer is gathering dust at the State Secretariat.

"I submitted the report to the government in 1995-96.
Nothing has been done so far," Leena Mehendale, the then
Nashik Divisional Commissioner, said.

Sonawane was burnt alive by the oil mafia in Malegaon,
Nashik district, on Tuesday for having cracked down on them.

"The report came to Mantralaya (Secretariat). All that
we learnt was that no action was going to be taken (on the
report)," said Mehendale, who retired last year as Additional
Chief Secretary.

The then Dhule District Collector had initiated the
report, she said. "I expanded the report, went into details.
Immediately after the report was submitted, Dhule Collector
was transferred. After four months, I was also transferred."

The report has noted that oil adulteration and
pilferage were rampant in the region where Sonawane was
killed. It has also suggested review of licenses of vendors.

"I recommended that petrol and kerosene licenses
should not be given to the same person," she said, adding that
the government has turned a blind eye towards this suggestion,
leading to rampant adulteration.

Mehendale had discussed the issue with the then Law
Secretary of Maharashtra, seeking an amendment to the Criminal
Procedure Code (CrPC). She suggested that rationing inspectors
should get the right to file cases in court.


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