July 11, 2024

The Bihar

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Lens on diesel smugglers

2 min read

Bettiah: Reeling under manpower crisis, the Seema Suraksha Bal (SSB) on Sunday admitted a surge in the smuggling of petroleum products, mainly diesel, following a steep difference in the pricing of the product in India and Nepal.

Speaking over phone from Raxaul, the commandant of the 47th battalion of SSB, Sonam Chhering, said: “As things stand now, diesel is being sold about Rs 18 cheaper in Nepal and as a result incidents of diesel smuggling from across the border are on the rise.” He added that about 555 litres of diesel have already been seized in the past few hours.

On Friday, the SSB nabbed a smuggler, Rafulluha Miya, at Bheriharwa on the India-Nepal bordering area when he was ferrying 105 litres of diesel from Nepal, followed by the seizure of 450 litres of diesel in the Inarwa area.

But the SSB commandant, admitted that manpower crunch was taking a toll. “Though we have stepped up vigilance and restricted four-wheelers from passing through unauthorised routes, we have limited resources to manage all 18 posts under our jurisdiction. It is getting increasingly difficult to deal with four-wheeler owners who take authorised routes and return after filling up their tank. We cannot tackle it owing to manpower scarcity.”

Against a sanctioned strength of about 550 security personnel, the commandant said he has to manage operations with 330 personnel with the remaining staying on deputation across the country.

Rakesh Ranjan, officer-in-charge of Lakardehi police station, admitted to the smuggling of diesel.

The price difference, however, has had an effect on fuel outlets in the bordering areas. Deepak Kumar Singh, an employee of Manju Fuels (a petrol pump) on the Raxual-Adapur road, said: “We are witnessing a sharp slump in the sale of diesel and petrol owing to the price difference. The situation had come to such a pass that we had to suspend our services for a week recently.”

Courtesy: The Telegraph

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