Ethanol Blended Petrol Bring Cars To A Halt

Dealers Pass The Buck, Say People Unaware About Precautions

Srinagar: As complaints over the breakdown of vehicles due to ethanol blended petrol continue to pour in, the Kashmir Valley Tank Owners and Petroleum Dealers Association (KVPDA) on Thursday said that it was unfair to hold petrol-pumps and dealers responsible for the breakdown as the people were unaware about the precautions that are must before using the blended petrol.

Talking to Kashmir Observer, the spokesperson of the association, Bilal Ahmad, said that it was highly deplorable that people were targeting them for breakdown of their vehicles alleging that water was being blended with the petrol.

“The Government and oil companies are responsible for creating awareness among the general public like they had informed the fuel dealers about the ethanol blending in petrol but instead of them it was our association that had issued advisory for the general public on use of the ethanol blended petrol,” he said.

He further added that, “We should not be blamed for anything as awareness about the use of this ethanol blended petrol fuel has not been disseminated by the concerned authorities among consumers.”

Last year, the Ministry of Petroleum & Natural Gas had made the petrol fuel blended with 10% ethanol mandatory for all the public sector oil companies. But unlike other states where fuel outlets began placing banners and even printing on their bills that the petrol that they sell has been blended with 10% ethanol, Kashmir based petrol pumps haven’t placed such types of advisories informing people about the petrol quality.

“ There are two categories of Petrol fuel, one is the E5 (Super/Premium Petrol) where the ethanol blended with petrol is only upto 5%, so all the old model vehicles are to be run on this petrol and then we’ve the E10 where the ethanol blended with petrol is 10%, this is specifically for the new model vehicles. But because of the Government's failure in creating awareness among the people, the E5 category vehicles are being filled with E10 petrol and as a result, the vehicle breaks down,” an expert told Kashmir Observer.

He further added, “Unless the people are not fully aware about the use of this ‘ethanol blended Petrol’, vehicles in Kashmir will keep on breaking down.”

KVPDA had earlier published an advisory and requested consumers to take preventive measures and demanded that they should not be held responsible for any kind of loss to the vehicles.

“We’d requested people to check the fuel tank of their vehicles for any water content present in the fuel tank and get it cleaned,” Ahmad said.

But contrary to the Association’s claim, the car owners have a different story to narrate.

“My vehicle broke down only after I filled it with petrol.” said Aman Malik, a student whose vehicle had broken down because of the same ethanol blended petrol.

“It was only after a mechanic checked my vehicle that I came to know that there was some problem with the petrol that had damaged the fuel line of my vehicle.”

“Tell me, who is to be blamed for this, the administration or the Fuel stations.” he questioned.

Amid this blame game, an official from the Legal Metrology Department, on the basis of anonymity, said that the department has received several complaints from the people about the breakdown of their vehicles but not all the cases had seized to drift because of the ethanol presence but few fuel tanks of those vehicles were found to have water presence.

“So, there are chances that these fuel stations are selling an under quality petrol but we also cannot ignore the ethanol fact. He further added that the department is looking into the matter and will soon come up with final results,” he said.

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Zaid Bin Shabir

Zaid Bin Shabir is a special correspondent at Kashmir Observer. He tweets @Zaidbinshabir

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