Noting that most laboratories accredited with the Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Gas did not have requisite facility to test petrol and diesel for adulteration, the National Green Tribunal has directed IIT Madras to determine the quantum of impurity in these fuels. A bench headed by NGT Chairperson Justice Swatanter Kumar, which had directed the Ministry to inspect petrol pumps in Delhi-NCR, also directed authorities to conduct qualitative analysis of fuel samples from the government laboratories without going into the percentage of adulteration.
“The report of pilot project taken up by the IIT Madras for examining and analysing the quantitative adulteration of Naphtha and Kerosene in petrol/diesel, should be submitted to the Tribunal before the next date of hearing positively. Let the concerned and IIT Madras be informed of this direction.
“In addition to the samples so far collected from the outlets and/or from the vehicles, the authority should collect at least 50 samples from NCR including Gurgaon, NOIDA, Bahadurgarh, Alwar and others,” the bench also comprising Justice Raghuvendra S Rathore said.
The tribunal directed the Ministry to place the analysis report of fuels before October 20, the next date of hearing.
Additional Solicitor General Tushar Mehta appeared on behalf of the Ministry of Petroleum and three oil marketing companies.
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.
Advocate Avneesh Arputham, appearing for the petitioner, said as none of the accredited labs in India had the ability to test the magnitude of adulteration in fuel, the pilot project of IIT Madras was very important.
The Ministry had earlier informed NGT that out of 20 labs, response from 17 labs (including IIT Delhi, IIT Madras and IIT Mumbai) was received and except for IIT Madras, all laboratories expressed inability to detect percentage of content of naphtha and kerosene in case of adulteration of petrol and diesel as they were not equipped with the requisite testing facilities.
Last year, the NGT had constituted a committee comprising officials from the 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 after a plea claimed that adulterated fuel was a major cause of air pollution in the capital.