New Delhi: Large-scale pilferage of pipeline oil was busted in west Delhi’s Uttam Nagar area following a joint operation by Delhi Police and Indian Oil Corporation (IOC) officials.
According to police, some people had leased a plot with some construction on it and were allegedly using it to store oil after having constructed an underground reservoir at the site. The matter came to light during the wee hours of December 22 as IOC officials undertook a night patrol in the area from where constant pressure changes were reported in the pipeline.
Spotting a wet patch of land which smelled of oil, the officials followed the trail to reach the plot, police said. “After walking a few steps, they came upon a wet patch which was found to be oil. Right in front of the patch was an empty plot, bearing address – E 108, Bhagwati Garden Extension, from where the oil smell was coming. They then called the police,” a senior police official said.
After police’s arrival, the premise was checked in the presence of one Radheshyam, the caretaker of the plot. Another wet patch of land with some wet soil was spotted inside a small room built on the plot.
“The spot was then dug up and stacks of plastic sacks were found underneath which were covering an iron grill. After the grill was removed, a 3X3X10 feet reservoir was found beneath it which was full of oil. There also was a wooden ladder inside the pit, which had oil filled up to 8ft,” the official said.
According to the police, the owner of the plot has been identified as one Ashok Kumar, a resident of Pashchim Vihar. “A case has been registered after a complaint in this regard was lodged by Ashish Kumar, Senior Operation and Maintenance Engineer, Indian Oil Corporation Ltd, Pipeline Division.”
“We have booked the case under IPC Sections 379 (punishment for theft), 285 (negligent conduct with respect to fire or combustible material), 120B (criminal conspiracy) and other relevant sections along with Explosive Substances Act, 1908. We have identified the owner of the land and the person to whom it is at present rented.”
“Several teams are working on the case and the accused will be arrested soon. Continuous raids are being conducted in this regard,” the official added.