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Diesel scam in Dharmasthala

The SC/ST Employees' Association here has demanded the suspension of two former divisional controllers of the KSRTC, Mangalore division, for the alleged Rs 54-lakh diesel scam at the Dharmasthala depot.

They have also demanded that the corporation revoke the suspension of the Dharmasthala Depot Manager K K Venugopal and Assistant Storekeeper Achyuta, saying that they were being framed in the scam.

Lolaksha, honorary president of the Association and P B D'Sa, president, People's Union Civil Liberties (PUCL), on Thursday alleged that the KSRTC administrative staff were involved in the recent fraud and they were making the employees scapegoats.

He demanded that the government attach the properties of the two divisional controllers --M N Venkatesh (now in Kolar) and A S R Nawaz (now serving in Hassan) and probe the scam.
Lolaksha noted that the diesel was being supplied to the Dharmasthala depot by tankers and the scam pertained to 24 truck loads of diesel worth Rs 54 lakh. In reality, the lone truck (KA 25-5949), which was transporting fuel to Dharmasthala depot, had not even crossed the Kannur check post, he said.

Giving the dates on which fuel had not reached to the depot, he said as per records, the Dharmasthala depot should have the invoice copies on receipt of the fuel, but the Dharmasthala depot did not have the invoices on those dates.
But at the same time, he alleged, that somebody had prepared false invoices with forged signatures of the Dharmasthala depot manager and sent it to Bangalore for payment.
Lolaksha maintained that the statistical officer S J Shanbagh and other suspended personnel like Geetanjali, assistant finance officer, Haribara, divisional assistant storekeeper, Chidambara, finance manager, Roy Rodrigues, depot inspector, were involved in this huge scam and demanded attaching of their properties also till inquiry was completed.

He said that the argument that Dharmastala depot manager had not given the invoices to the divisional office at Mangalore does not hold water as this practice was not in vogue in six depots under Mangalore KSRTC namely Madikeri, Kundapur, Dharmasthala, Puttur and two depots in Mangalore.

``In case this is taken as a mistake on the part of managers, all six depot managers have to be suspended,'' he said.

Lolaksha pointed out that since June last, there were discrepancies in the totals given by the Indian Oil Corporation and the Dharmasthala depot. Despite this, the Mangalore office was passing the bills - which is cause for suspicion.

He said that the two divisional controllers were severely punishing the bus drivers, conductors for small mistakes and to say that they have overlooked such a big fraud is ridiculous. He also alleged that this scam had taken place in connivance with the higher officials.

Lolaksha pointed out that of the eight invoices given to the depots during the time of supplying fuel by the oil company, four are retained by the depot and the other four are given to the Mangalore office.

The bills are sanctioned and sent to Bangalore for payment only after the proper tally of figures.
He said that this showed that the fraud had occurred at the Mangalore office and not at Dharmasthala depot.

He said that the association was conducting its own inquiry to find out who forged the signatures and once the identity of the accused was established, they would send the documents to the government.

Source: TOI


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