A number of gasoline stations have been found to be selling substandard diesel that could irreversibly damage automobile engines, said the Department of Commerce and Supplies Management (DoCSM).
According to the DoCSM, a cross-inspection carried out by a joint market monitoring team on Thursday found the quality of diesel supplied by Chakrapath Fuel Centre, Balaju and Newa Trade Concern, Dhalko to be below par.
Hari Narayan Belbase, director at the monitoring department of the DoCSM, said that milk coloured semi-solid substances were found in the fuel supplied by these pumps.
The department’s report showed that the engine of a vehicle was found to have been damaged permanently by using the substandard diesel. According to Belbase, they checked gasoline pumps due to growing complaints from consumers.
As per the department report, Chakrapath Fuel Centre received a shipment of gasoline by a tanker bearing the registration number Na 4 Kha 5368.
The tanker had received purchase delivery order number 30868 from Nepal Oil Corporation (NOC) to import 4 kilolitres of diesel.
The department has sealed the gasoline station until it reaches a decision. Newa Trade Concern was also reported to have purchased diesel from the same tanker.
Belbase said the department had collected samples of the fuel and sent them to the Nepal Bureau of Standards Metrology for testing. “We are also planning to send them to the Nepal Academy of Science and Technology for further investigation,” he said.
This is not the first time that fuel supplied by NOC was found to be contaminated.
A number of vehicles were reported to have been damaged due to the substandard petroleum supplied by the oil monopoly.
According to the DoCSM, the department will initiate action against those found guilty in the case. “Based on the lab report, we will even question the concerned officials at NOC,” said Belbase.
Tankers import fuel from India after receiving the purchase delivery order issued by NOC.
The shipment is stored at the NOC Thankot depot where NOC officials carry out final tests before being sent to the market. Meanwhile, the DoCSM on Thursday also sealed Lucky Bread Factory operating in Madhyapur, Thimi.
According to Belbase, they acted after the bakery plant was found to be using spoiled raw materials. “Besides, the production area was so dirty and smelly that it was a possible health hazard to consumers.”
As per the DoCSM, the factory had repeatedly ignored its directives to improve the production plant. “We have closed the production unit until further notice,” Belbase said.