| Petrol being sold in plastic bottles at a stall in Nagaon. Telegraph picture |
Nagaon, Dec. 14: The Nagaon administration has imposed a restriction on using water bottles and plastic containers for carrying fuel and instructed all depots to sell petrol or diesel (less than 30 litres) to a customer only if he has a container, which is made of tin, galvanised or of pure steel.
The development came last week after 750 litres of petrol were seized from a stationary shop in a country market in Nagaon recently which was allegedly collected from an NRL retailer and the shop owner intended to sell it locally.
Nagaon deputy commissioner P. Ashok Babu said the special instruction (which is mandatory according to Petroleum Act, 1934) is a way to stop the grey fuel markets, which have mushroomed in some areas in the district.
“In some special cases, people cannot refill the fuel tank of the vehicle. If the fuel tank is empty, the vehicle owner might bring a container to the depot. But in that case he or she must bring the right type of container and the depot could sell him fuel only less than 30 litres,” Ashok Babu said.
He said any purchaser or any retailer found violating the norms would be punished according to the law.
In Nagaon, fuel-related altercations between consumers and retailers are common.
The series of incidents started on November 26 when a customer found that he was given 26 ml less when he bought a litre of petrol from Monuhar Motor Service of the Nahata group.
The discovery led to a clash in which two persons were injured. The incident immediately was followed by non-co-operation of the depot workers for the next 24 hours demanding security.
The next day, the Nagaon administration’s inspection brought to light that 5ml petrol was missing from a litre in another depot run in the town by PS Enterprise.
“Around 5 ml petrol less in 1 litre is within the permissible limit. But Monuhor Motor Service’s 26 ml less was above the permissible limit and we kept the depot suspended for seven days. The depot was instructed to redress its technical problem,” said Nagaon food and civil supply deputy director J. Islam.
“During a recent inspection, we caught Guljar Hussain from Juria and recovered 750 litres petrol from his stationary shop. During interrogation, Hussain told us that he purchased the fuel in bulk from NRL depots on Nagaon ASTC campus and produced two cash memos in support of that. After verification of the documents, the NRL depot was sealed as selling fuel in bulk was a punishable offence according to the Petroleum Act,” Islam said.
Nagaon has 21 petrol depots, 16 kerosene dealers and three Krishak Sewa Kendras.
“When a farmer needs fuel for agricultural purpose, he collects it from local Krishak Sewa Kendra. Basically, diesel is used in that case and such kendras are established only to support the farmers. But illegal marketing of petrol for the benefit of a section of dishonest traders will not be tolerated at any cost,” Islam said.