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Villagers sell illegal fuel in Rajasthan’s Mewat region

With complete disregard for rules, petrol and diesel are being illegally sold on roadsides in Mewat region of Bharatpur. The police, claim, that they are unaware of it.

jaipur Updated: Sep 06, 2017 19:47 IST
Suresh Foujdar
Suresh Foujdar
Hindustan Times
Rajasthan news,illegal sale of fuel,Bharatpur
Thousands of villagers are involved in selling of illegal petrol and diesel in Rajasthan’s Mewar region. (HT Photo.)

With complete disregard for rules, petrol and diesel are being illegally sold on roadsides in Mewat region of Bharatpur. The police, claim, that they are unaware of it.

Thousands are involved in this illegal trade in the region. The trade has flourished further as there is not a single petrol pump near the villages. Most pumps are located in towns.

The economics is simple. Villagers have to travel around 30 km (on an average) to buy around two litres of fuel, so they prefer paying Rs 10 extra per litre and buying fuel illegally from the roadside vendors. The vendors make anything between Rs 500 and Rs 800 per day.

Selling and storing of petrol without a valid licence is illegal, said Bharatpur district supply officer Beena Mahawar. According to the Petroleum Act 1934 petrol, the fuel should be kept in glass containers, stoneware or metal. It is also illegal to store more than 30-litre petrol without a licence.

Despite laws being in place, the trade is flourishing in Kaman, Jurahara, Sikri, Pahari, Gopalgarh blocks in Mewat region. Vendors can be seen sitting on the sides of roads from Jurahara to Kaman, Kaman to Deeg, Kaman to Pahari, Sikri to Gopalgarh and Pahari to Sikri. They also sell fuel on roads linking rural areas in big plastic bottles.

Incidentally, a vendor sells fuel illegally just 500m from the Kaman police station on the way from Kaman to Jurahara. The sale is carried out in the open and till date, no action has been taken against him.

Additional superintendent of police and in-charge of Mewat region Surendra Singh Kaviya said that they are not aware of any such illegal sale of petrol and diesel. “We are ready to take action and raid these illegal sellers if anyone hands over a written complaint naming the sellers,” Kaviya added.

Mahawar said that they will constitute teams to raid Mewat and nab the illegal sellers. “Action will be taken against them under relevant sections for violating the Petroleum Act, 1934 and Petroleum Rules 1937,” the district supply officer added.

She said that earlier the government had given licences to some villagers to sell petrol and diesel in rural areas. However, those licences have expired and the government decided not to renew such licences.

Former sarpanch of Chor Ghadi Yusuf Khan said that poverty is rising in the Mewat region where most people are illiterate. “People have made illegal sale of petrol and diesel their livelihood. Most of them are not even aware that what they do is illegal,” said Yusuf Khan.

Criminals in Mewat region, who earlier conned people with a gold brick trick, have now moved on to this trade.

Apart from the Mewat region, there are many places on the Bharatpur-Mathura mega highway where brokers keep stock of diesel and petrol. Diesel and petrol supply tankers, which carry fuel from Dhaurmui oil depot, sell fuel to locals at a low price during transportation.

Former Pradhan of Kaman Jalish Khan, who is former Congress MLA Jahida Khan’s husband, said that mostly the poor are involved in this trade as the government has failed to provide them employment. “It also may be that the police are accepting a share from this illegal sale,” he added.

First Published: Sep 06, 2017 19:47 IST