Pump owner and IOCL Tinsukia at loggerheads over alleged adulterated oil
From a Correspondent
JORHAT, May 10: Allegations about a possible nexus of IOCL (Indian Oil Corporation Limited) officials and the oil mafia involved with the adulterated business of mixing kerosene and thus earning huge profit is nothing new. But a recent case wherein a petrol pump owner gesh Singh of M/s Auto Sales refused to unload the diesel dispatched on April 16 by IOCL Tinsukia termil suspecting the oil to be adulterated and stranded the tanker for more than 15 days, has raised eyebrows. The owner’s action led IOCL to initially collect samples from the tanker to examine the content but ironically recalled the tanker back to the Tinsukia depot without even furnishing the reports of its finding despite electronic correspondence by the complaint.
Top sources from IOCL have, however, informed about the oil tanker to have been diverted back to a petrol pump at Charaideo where the suspected adulterated oil was unloaded. And the present the caretaker of the pump who had taken the responsibility of running the petrol pump from the otherwise authorized license holder, is coincidentally the owner of Sahara Transport Company whose truck AS-23 E 0731 driven by Deepak Shah came to deliver the oil at M/s Auto Sales in Jorhat.
Adulterated oil is a big business generating huge profits, share of which is divided equally between IOCL officials, tanker, petrol pump owners and the unscrupulous oil mafia. Questions are being raised as to why the transporter has not been black listed from ferrying petroleum products out of IOCL Tinsukia till now?
A recent study has shown that on an average 150 tankers of both 12 KL and 20 KL leave the IOCL Tinsukia termil to reach out to various destitions in Upper Assam, parts of Aruchal Pradesh bordering Dibrugarh and Tinsukia, IOCL stock depot at Doimukh in Aruchal Pradesh and another in Imphal, Manipur, besides supplying to ONGC and OIL. It has now been proved that these tankers stop at specific places starting right from Khatkhati near Moran, Demow, Balijaan near Dergaon, Telgorom near Golaghat, Kuthori near Jakhalabandha and Khatkhati in Bokajan where 3,000 litres on an average are unloaded from each tanker. The deficit of 3,000 litres is then filled up with subsidized kerosene and chemicals (petroleum by products) mixed adulterated oil which ultimately reaches the end consumers (common people) who never bargain for the price of oil while filling their vehicle tanks.
Whereas a pump owner profits in between 1.50 paisa to Rs 2 on every litre of genuine oil sold but adulterated oil sale increases this profit from Rs 2 to Rs 10. Kerosene is perhaps perceived to be an indispensable agent of the mixing business and hence many genuine pump owners have been repeatedly calling to the government to stop subsidized kerosene or to device policies by which kerosene is made available only to the needy or otherwise make the rate of both petrol and diesel same.
Trying to contact senior IOCL officials in Tinsukia went in vain as most officers refrained from answering questions over phone. Talking to The Sentinel, newly joined Chief Termil Mager (CTM) Tabrez Ahmed said, “I have just joined on April 22 and was unfortutely not much aware about the incident. But after a recent news in an electronic news channel and after some cross verification I was informed that we have followed all procedures necessary to find out adulteration based on a customer’s complaint. The tanker was stranded for more than 15 days. We got a report from the laboratory and after a magement decision; we decided to pay back the price of the product to the owner and recalled the tanker. I assure you that the product was genuine. As complained there was no flaw in colour specification or in the density of the oil.”
Asked about VTS Vehicle Tracking System fitted in the the tankers to keep track of abnormal delay, the CTM said, “It is still in the initial stage.”
Reacting sharply to the CTM’s claim, pump owner gesh Singh said, “I had a doubt and hence requested IOCL to collect samples and clarify it. I was expecting a report but instead without informing me and by just depositing the value of the purchased product and recalling back the tanker do not make sense at all.”