Monday, March 21, 2011

Adulteration in the motor fuels (Petrol& Diesel) has been a menace for MOP&NG since a very long time, precisely due to artificially keeping low price of Kerosene .Price of PDS kerosene has not been revised for more than a decade to keep the vote bank of BPL users intact by respective governments, such artificially low price has made adulteration of motor fuels like petrol/diesel with this PDS Kerosene a lucrative trade. Late Manjunath Sales officer of Indian oil was murdered while checking adulteration at a Petrol pump in U.P.
Government tried several methods to curb it, and colored (blue dyed)PDS kerosene , anti adulteration drives were carried out but adulteration kept flourishing due to the differential of kerosene price and rising price of motor fuels. By a study of NCEAR it was established that 38% of Kerosene is diverted and used for adulteration by Petrol/diesel pump owners with the support of transporters and even oil company officials.
MOP&NG formed a committee of Top oil company officials and sent them abroad to study and suggest a suitable Marker , which can detect adulteration in motor fuels, such ‘markers’ are used in south Africa, Malaysia and many other countries to check adulteration due differential pricing or subsidized fuel etc. Committee finally zeroed down on few suppliers of markers , out of which M/s Authentix was hand picked by ministry officials for supplying marker to oil marketing companies IOC/BPC/HPC , such decision was taken without even conducting a Pilot study. Oil companies were advised to procure the marker from Indian agents of above supplier M/s SGS Ltd on a single offer basis. There was such a tearing hurry to implement marker system that no formulation, specification , chemical composition or Environment impact was studied /verified or compared. MOP&NG even amended the MDG( Marketing discipline guidelines) to empower the private company personnel to check /Inspect Retail outlets for the presence of marker (adulterated by marker doped kerosene), across the country.
Then secy. Petroleum ordered the oil companies in July 2006 to implement the Marker system expeditiously and oil companies placed purchase orders in Aug. 2006. The inauguration and Public demonstration of Marker system was carried out by Minister of Petroleum Sh. Murli Deora, Secy. Petroleum M.S. Srivnivasan , Dealers Association President shri, Ashok Badhwar, local MP Sh.. Sajjan kumar on 4.10.2006 at Indian oil’s Bijwasan Terminal, Initial order by oil companies was placed for 1 year till Sept 2007for approx. Rs. 100 crore .
Oil sector Officer’s Association convener Ashok Singh and coordinator R.P.Srivastava were approached by Marketing officers of oil companies and complained that Petrol pump owners were subjected to Extortion by the Private company SGS in the name of inspection /checking of Marker .OSOA mandated one leading Advocate of Mumbai to obtain all procurement details of Marker system in Nov. 2007 through RTI while the supply contract of Marker was extended for 6 months i.e up to March 2008, after initial denial even by MOP&NG , advocate received all the information in May 2008.
Ashok singh & Srivastava made a formal complaint to Joint Director CBI, Mumbai in May 2008, in a quick retaliation Ashok Singh was promptly suspended within 4 days of filing the complaint by implicating him into a false charge, they both approached CVC(central vigilance commissioner) personally in June, July& Aug. 2008 , for whistle blowers protection, which was declined and all their correspondence was shared with HPCL Management who swiftly removed Srivastava’s all assistance, evicted from his office and made to sit under stair case, his perquisites were stopped and even deducted salary. MOP&NG ordered oil companies to extend the contract of SGS till Dec. 2008 and total Marker worth Rs. 200 crore was purchased all on single offer.
PIL no. 60 was filed in Mumbai High Court in June 2008 by a social activist Sh. Simpreet singh , which was decided in Oct. 2008 , Hon’ble Mumbai High court ordered CBI to investigate whole Marker scam and ordered MOP&NG separately to conduct enquiry by Ministry’s Vigilance dept.One Indian express report in Oct 2008 confirmed that the Marker was removable/launderable by ordinary clay.HPCL looking for some excuse to remove Srivastava who was suspended in Jan 2009 , again by falsely implicating him into OSOA’s strike from 7-9th Jan. 2009, HPCL had incidentally not participated in that strike , and himself was on duty during the strike days. In the meantime MOP&NG abruptly advised all oil companies to stop marker doping w.e.f Jan 2009 without assigning any reason.
Times of India report in June 2009 , confirmed that HPCL ‘s own R&D advisor had confirmed as early as in Jan. 2005 that the Marker is carcinogenic in nature (could cause cancer in human being).Finally CBI filed a PE in Marker case in April 2009 against then Secy Petroleum , SGS, Authentix and unknown oil company officials .According to CNN-IBN News on 21st sept 2009 , CVC has also ordered CBI to conduct enquiry against Senior Petroleum ministry officials , News also confirmed that Authentix was already a black listed company abroad with the name “Biocode” Marker was purchased at the price of Rs. 13000 per ltr. and there was no basis for procuring marker at such an exorbitant price
Ashok Singh & Srivastava were removed from services of HPCL in March 2009. Srivastava was evicted from company accommodation in Aug 2009 after facing insult and humiliation by HPCL management for 15 months . This is all done by HPCL who claim themselves to be Model Employers being a Govt. of India undertaking, Claiming themselves pioneers in the field of HR for their HR practices like Emotional Intelligence/Performance Management , competence mapping etc. etc.
Despite High court/CVC orders no visible action appears to have been taken by CBI?
Public admission by CVC in the news item of Indian Express of 30th Dec. 2009 , that corruption has reached at the highest level in the Government and specially mentioned the Names of Ministry of Petroleum , power and others and how long people of this country will continue to pay artificially high price of fuel and subscribe to the govt. propaganda that OMC’s are losing so many crores every day and add to the prosperity of corrupt officials and adulterators?

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