Hyderabad: The Union petroleum ministry’s latest proposal on providing door delivery of petrol/diesel to consumers is being rubbished by civil supplies officials and petrol pump owners, who are raising the issue of “safety” with an argument that the new system could put the lives of residents at risk.
They also raise wild fears that miscreants could misuse the fuel to make petrol bombs for use in agitations. “It is dangerous to keep fuel at home with kids around and for that reason, there is a ban on sale of fuel in plastic bottles since 2010,” they say.
Exposure of fuel to the air creates fumes which are highly combustible and there are chances of some people stocking petrol in their homes to make money via its sale. They can now inspect petrol pumps on safety and contamination issues but it is not possible to inspect every hous-ehold in door-delivery system, the officials say.
“Since, this issue concerns safety of the people, it should be debated extensively before implementation. There are clear rules on who is allowed to transport the fuel to whom and in how much quantity. There are certain norms on the fuel tankers following safety specifications, cleaning and storing, refuelling, refilling etc. Petrol pumps can be inspected to verify whether or not they are complying with these safety norms. If it is found to be non-compliant, they can be booked and penalised, and their licence can be cancelled. Is it possible to do this in a door-to-door delivery system,” asked C.V. Anand, commissioner of civil supplies.
He said any negligence or recklessness in the handling of fuel would result in loss of lives and property. Petroleum dealers too echoed similar views and said the Centre was putting the lives and properties of citizens at risk by floating such a hasty proposal.
They view the new proposal as an attempt by the Centre to teach a lesson to dealers for announcing a closure of petrol pumps every Sunday from May 14, demanding an increase in the dealers’ margins.
“Even the US is not implementing the door delivery system due to safety concerns. In India, where a significant chunk of the population is still illiterate and unaware of safety issues, the new proposal would turn out to be dangerous. Besides, there are issues like Naxalism, terrorism and anti-social outfits, which may misuse the facility.”
“In cities, where there are a large number of multi-storied buildings like apartments and skyscrapers in which thousands reside, any accident on account of fuel being stored in flats would result in unimaginable destructions,”said Rajiv Amaram, president of the Telangana petroleum dealers’ association....