DULIAJAN, July 1 � After years of allegations that condensate oil is being pilfered in large quantities to adulterate petrol in the upper Assam districts, the authorities of Oil India Limited (OIL) here have come up with a �multiple check mechanism� to arrest the menace. The checks would include fitment of GPS (global positioning system) in condensate-carrying tankers.
This was revealed to this newspaper today by Nirmal Kumar Agarwal, Resident Chief Executive of OIL. He said his company would also be approaching the district deputy commissioners for their counter certificates to verify that allottees of condensate are using the commodity for the intended use and not for anything else.
OIL produces about 2000 metric tonnes of condensate oil, which is a side product of crude oil production. This is mostly sold off to private buyers, with strict riders on end use. An important by-product of condensate oil are various solvents, used by paint and glue manufacturers. However, it is another story that condensate oil often finds its way to the black market, where racketeers use the liquid to adulterate petrol. Though condensate oil is priced slightly higher than crude oil, high prices of petrol make adulteration a lucrative business. Adulterated petrol causes severe damages to vehicle engines in the long run, but this is not the problem of petrol pump owners and racketeers in the trade.
Agarwal said he and the OIL management is seized of the issue, and has therefore decided to initiate measures to check the menace. The GPS devices on the condensate carrying tankers would keep the OIL authorities updated on the movement of the tankers. So, any tanker deviating from its route would set off an alarm. Then, the Central Excise would verify that the condensate allottee firms maintain correct records of receipts and proper distillation. And finally, the administration of the district where the condensate distillation firms are located would be required to certify that condensate oil has actually been properly utilised for industrial purposes.
The top OIL official said his company is willing to promote entrepreneurs who want to set up condensate oil distillation plants in Assam, as the company has sufficient stocks of the commodity. The only condition is that the entrepreneurs would have to take the necessary permissions and a willingness to adhere to the rule book. Currently, almost all the players in the trade are located outside the State.