Fuel Adulteration – Caveat Emptor!!
I recently purchased a new car Maruti Ritz. The driving comfort was great. However, 10 days back, I was travelling to Sangli and found that the car was running out of gas. So, I stopped in a nearby gas station somewhere on the road to refuel. Now, I deeply regret it!! My car was sounding like I was driving an old Premier Padmini! I showed it to an authorised Maruti service center and they found traces and smell of naphtha and kerosene in the fuel. We completely emptied the fuel tank and refueled with good petrol. Now I am happy that my car has regained its earlier comfort. It made a huge noticeable difference. It was what they say in Marathi “अक्कल खाते जमा”!
All over the country, there are increasing cases of solvents, naptha and kerosene used to adulterate petrol. I came across a news report that the Sangli police have so far arrested nine people, besides booking three others from different locations, for their suspected role in the illegal supply of naphtha for petrol adulteration. Many people who buy motor spirit never know that they may be buying a product which is adulterated. Many of them are least bothered about it because their vehicles continue to run. That the contamination in petrol and diesel can corrode the engine of their automobile or that the exhaust fumes can be a cause for deadly diseases like cancer do not concern them.
I recommend people to be careful and take following steps as far as possible:
- Check that the petrol pump has displayed the density of petrol and the address of the Divisional Manager or Safety Officer.
- Unadulterated petrol when dropped on an ordinary blotting / filter paper would evaporate within a minute or two. If it is adulterated, it would take more time for evaporation and leave a stain on the paper. Petrol bunks are duty-bound to provide filter paper to the suspecting customers or conduct the density test if they ask for it. But no customer exercises his right in this regard.
- You can lodge complaints online on http://retailcms.hpcl.co.in for HPCL products among various other sites. I have lodged a complaint today. Reply awaited. There are also consumer complaint forums like http://www.consumer-voice.org and http://www.consumercomplaints.in/.
Come on, this is your hard earned money you have invested on your vehicle and you would not like it to go phut prematurely, would you?!
Buyer Beware – Caveat Emptor and exercise your rights!!!