Sunday, April 29, 2018

No ‘clarity’ on use of fuel by officials: Audit report

The Tribune: Ludhiana: Sunday, April 29, 2018.
As several Municipal Corporation officials have not provided details about fuel consumption, objections have been raised in this regard in the 2016-17 audit report.
A copy of the audit report, which was obtained under the RTI Act by the Council of RTI Activists recently, stated that chances of misuse of fuel could not be ignored.
After inspecting the stock register of a fuel station, the auditing team found that 1.71 lakh litre fuel was released to 17 officials, including junior engineers, sub-divisional officers, officials of the Municipal Corporation Operations and Maintenance Wing and the Health Branch during the 2010-13 period.
However, officials concerned did not submit record and log books having information about fuel usage for the audit, the report stated.
Civic body officials have been instructed to present the record of fuel consumption before audit to avoid any irregularity.
The report also added that vehicles of the MC took fuel from a petrol station daily, but drivers concerned did not present log books for audit during the 2010-13 period.
The report further states that there was major objection over some drivers not presenting log books having details about diesel consumption during the March 2015 to February 2016 period.
Questions were also raised over a vehicle with an average of 18 km per litre fuel travelling 170 km in a day in the city. The audit officials found that the vehicle’s meter showed that it had covered 17.55 lakh km till February 2014. While inquiring about condition of the vehicle, the audit team also instructed the civic body to get the matter probed.
Details of a log book show that an Additional Commissioner of the civic body had taken government vehicle outside the MC limits allegedly without any permission during the period between September 2013 and August 2014, the report states.
Besides, objections were raised over consumption of 68,225 litre fuel that was supplied by another petrol station in the city.
An RTI activist Rohit Sabharwal obtained copy of the 2016-17 MC audit report under the RTI Act. He said, “The matter should be probed as there is no transparency in use of fuel by officials.”
“Fuel is also used for fogging to control mosquitoes in the city. However, fogging is not done in right manner. It is responsibility of officials to maintain records the right way,” said Pankaj Garg, District Controller Finance and Accounts, Municipal Corporation, Ludhiana.