Delay in marker system to check petrol adulteration

Vol 6, PW 17 (23 Oct 02) News in Brief

It will be a while before customers can test the petrol and diesel they buy to see if its been tampered with.

The oil ministry feels that the overseas supplier of a chemical marker to test the purity of petrol and diesel is trying to cheat it by arbitrarily raising prices. During the six-month trial period in New Bombay, the supplier offered the marker at $41 per kilo but raised the price to $65 per kilo after the trial period.

Negotiations led to the price coming down to $51 per kilo. "We feel the supplier is trying to take advantage of being the sole seller." Now the oil ministry is looking for an alternative supplier and until it finds one all trials planned in Delhi have been put on hold.

Trials in Bombay will continue as oil PSUs still have six months stock. The marker in question is a chemical that can be added to petrol and diesel at fuel stations if customers want to check the purity of the fuel they are buying.