Kerosene marker to make a comeback

Less that two months after the kerosene ‘marker system’ scheme — meant to check diversion of the fuel made available through the Public Distribution System for auto-fuel adulteration — was abolished, the Centre has decided to reintroduce it by the end of March for it has been “very successful” in preventing adulteration, reports Satya Prakash.
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Updated on Feb 23, 2009 12:34 AM IST
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Hindustan Times | BySatya Prakash, New Delhi

Less that two months after the kerosene ‘marker system’ scheme — meant to check diversion of the fuel made available through the Public Distribution System (PDS) for auto-fuel adulteration — was abolished, the Centre has decided to reintroduce it by the end of March for it has been “very successful” in preventing adulteration.

In an affidavit filed in the Delhi High Court, the Centre said the Petroleum Ministry had written to oil companies on December 26, 2008 to reintroduce the ‘marker system’ in three months.

“The oil marketing companies are, therefore, in the process of complying with the said direction,” it added.

The affidavit was filed in response to a public interest petition filed by an NGO, Sahara Kalyan Samiti, challenging the move to abolish the scheme.

In fact, the Centre agreed with the petitioner that “the kerosene marker system was indeed an effective and efficacious means of preventing adulteration”.

The affidavit, however, denied the petitioner’s allegations that the government did not consider “any alternative, effective and efficacious system of preventing adulteration”. Global tenders were invited, but none met the specifications and therefore a fresh tender process had been initiated, it said.

Till the time the new marker system becomes operational, several measures, including monitoring of movement of tank trucks through Global Positioning System, use of tamper-proof tank truck locking system and regular inspection, have been taken to check diversion of the PDS kerosene for auto fuel adulteration, the Centre said.

Following the Centre’s affidavit, the NGO withdrew its petition.

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