Petroleum dealers to discuss supply of quality fuel

CHENNAI, NOV. 15. The forthcoming convention of the State petroleum dealers will provide a forum for the dealers to deliberate on new techniques available for ensuring supply of quality fuel to consumers.

Technologies such as marker chemicals, in vogue abroad, and hailed as effective solution to the menace of fuel adulteration will figure in the meet, being organised by the Tamil Nadu Petroleum Dealers' Association on November 17.

It is expected to urge the oil companies to initiate measures for preventing pilferage and adulteration of the product in transit. Used in nearly 38 countries, marker chemicals that colour the fuel are seen as a cost-effective means against adulteration.

Even City consumer organisations have favoured the use of the chemicals, at a meeting convened a few months back by the Civil Supplies Department, in which representatives of the Association participated.

The issue of fitting Abloy locks - a viable alternative to prevent fuel pilferage and adulteration - to oil tanker-trucks is yet another subject to be taken up for discussion at the meet, to be inaugurated by the Union Minister of State for Petroleum and Natural Gas, Mr. E. Ponnuswamy.

The tamper-proof locks were found satisfactory after a trial-run on trucks attached to the Irugur depot of the Indian Oil Corporation. Both the techniques seem to have made little headway, after the meeting convened by the Civil Supplies, though BPCL has fitted the locks to a few of its trucks, according to officials.

The convention, in which the State Food Minister, Mr. K.N. Nehru, will participate, is to emphasise the oil companies the need to ensure ``delivery of correct quantity and quality'' of the products, besides underscoring the need to fix the dealer commission on ad-valorem basis, says Mr. A.R. Damodaran, president, Tamil Nadu Petroleum Dealers' Association. ``The existing commission structure is not commensurate with the risks that we take and our expenses, especially considering the labour- intensive nature of the trade. It does not take into account the high sales tax on the products''.

Other issues to be discussed at the convention, in which more than 600 dealers are expected to participate, are better security measures for petrol bunks, adds Mr. M. Kannan, the Association Secretary.