Recent Jobs in Goa
POINGUINIM: The staggering petrol price difference between Goa and Karnataka has fuelled a flourishing fuel racket in neighbouring Karwar, with racketeers across the border making a killing at the cost of Goa’s exchequer.
Huge queues are seen at the Polem petrol pump, barely 1 km inside the State border, but not all are using the subsidized fuel for personal consumption.
With petrol cheaper at the Polem pump by a staggering Rs 20 per litre in comparison to petrol pumps in Karwar, racketeers are regularly filling fuel at cheaper rates in Polem and are selling it across the border at a hefty commission.
Petrol is priced in Karwar at Rs 79.64 per litre, while it is Rs 59.60 at the Polem pump. Diesel is cheaper in Polem by a meagre Rs 2.56 per litre.
In a bid to curb the illegal fuel trade, petrol pump operators in the State were prohibited from selling petrol in large cans and those running out of petrol were allowed to fill petrol only in 1 litre bottles.
But that has not deterred Karwari racketeers from devising a novel way to outwit Goan authorities. They simply proceed to the Polem pump in four-wheelers and top up the tank with cheaper petrol.
The cars then cross the border and head towards Karwar, where 35 litres cans are placed by the roadside.
With the help of a pipe, petrol from the car’s fuel tank is offloaded into the cans and a supervisor keeps watch over the cans. The cars then return to the Polem pump and the cycle goes on.
Incidentally, this activity goes on mostly after dusk, to avoid the attention of authorities.
The large number of Karnataka-registered vehicles to avail cheaper petrol rates at the Polem pump has angered Goan motorists.
Forced to wait in long queues, Goan motorists protested and forced the Polem petrol outlet manager to maintain a separate line for Goan vehicles.
This has made little difference to the unscrupulous elements, as some have devised an ingenious approach to circumvent the system.
Aware that vehicles in Goa are significantly cheaper than in Karnataka due to Goa’s lower taxation rates, some Karwari racketeers have purchased vehicles in Goa and have registered them to their Goa-based friends.
Racketeers with “Goan” vehicles then surreptitiously join the queue for Goan vehicles at the Polem petrol pump, thereby bypassing the system.
Heated arguments are frequently witnessed between locals and outsiders at the Polem pump, as locals identify outsiders from their language and their Konkani accent.
Speaking to Herald, petrol pump attendants at Polem disclosed that petrol sales have almost doubled following the petrol price reduction by Rs 11 per litre.
“Most vehicles coming to fill petrol are from outside Goa and they invariably fill up their vehicle tanks to the maximum,” remarked an attendant.
Karwar-based businessman, Shankar Revankar, told Herald that petrol sale at Karwar has drastically decreased, while sale of diesel has remained the same because of a marginal difference in rates between Goa and Karnataka.
Herald Goa News
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