After several laboratories across the country said they did not have facilities to test impurities in petrol and diesel, the National Green Tribunal has directed the Petroleum Ministry to spell out the methodology being followed by them to check such adulteration.
A bench headed by Justice Jawad Rahim directed Petroleum Ministry and oil marketing companies to file an affidavit and inform it about the process followed to test fuel impurity and also state which laboratories were being used for the purpose.
“It is spelled out that some more information with regard to methodology being followed by the laboratories to test the nature of adulterated pollutant in the fuel and laboratories whose service are being taken for analysis of samples may be furnished to the Tribunal in the form of affidavit by Ministry and oil marketing company be placed before the Tribunal. We grant three –weeks’ time to do the needful,” the bench said.
Additional Solicitor General Tushar Mehta appeared on behalf of the Ministry of Petroleum and oil marketing companies. The matter was listed for next hearing on March 9.
Noting that most laboratories accredited to the Ministry did not have the requisite facility to test petrol and diesel for adulteration, the tribunal had earlier directed IIT Madras to determine the quantum of impurity in the fuels.
The tribunal was hearing a plea filed by Delhi resident Cherub Singla seeking directions to inspect the fuel quality at petrol pumps across the country especially in cities facing acute air pollution.
Singla’s advocate Avneesh Arputham had claimed that none of the accredited labs in India had the ability to test the magnitude of adulteration in fuel.
The Ministry had earlier informed NGT that out of 20 labs, response from 17 (including IIT Delhi, IIT Madras and IIT Mumbai) was received and except for IIT Madras, all of them expressed inability to detect the percentage content of naphtha and kerosene in case of adulteration of petrol and diesel as they were not equipped with the requisite facilities.
The NGT had earlier constituted a committee comprising officials from Central Pollution Control Board, Ministry of Petroleum and state pollution control boards to conduct joint inspection at 10 petrol pumps in Delhi-NCR and analyse fuel samples.