A circular issued by the Petroleum and Explosives Safety Organisation (PESO) has brought to a halt the operations of MyPetrolPump, which recently started home delivery of fuel in Bengaluru.
While the start-up has not received any official communication, the circular, dated June 22, has notified oil companies that door-to-door delivery of fuel is not approved by the government.
MyPetrolPump founder Ashish Gupta told DH, “We have had to shut operations as the circular bars petrol pumps from supplying fuel to us. However, according to our understanding and research, there are no guidelines specified for home delivery of fuel.”
He said his company was working in accordance with the Petroleum Act of 1934, which allows the transport and storage of fuel as long as it is less than 2,500 litres.
The circular states, “The door-to-door delivery of petroleum products is not approved by the Government of India, Petroleum and Explosives Safety Organisation or Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Gas. The vehicle is not approved by Chief Controller of Explosives for fuel transportation and dispensing.”
The Petroleum Act says no licence is necessary for the transport and storage of certain classes of fuel if the total quantity in possession at any one place does not exceed 2,500 litres and and it is contained in a receptacle not exceeding 1,000 litres in capacity.
Gupta, who has worked with multinational oil and gas company Royal Dutch Shell for about nine years, explained, “When we approached the ministry for approval, we were told there is no provision. In the absence of guidelines, it is very discouraging for us, as well as customers, for our services to be termed illegal.”
The circular from PESO says, “In the absence of any guidelines pertaining to safety/procedures, the act of supply of petroleum products at customer’s site is illegal and fraught with danger to public and property.”
Claiming domain expertise, Gupta said, “Our tankers are extremely safe, in that they are structured similar to fuel supply tankers. Similarly, our meters also follow the Department of Legal Metrology’s guidelines.”
He urged the government to define ‘safety’ and notify guidelines “so that we can follow them.”
“Terming our service unsafe in the absence of relevant guidelines leaves the contention void,” he said.
Gupta says the government and oil companies have otherwise been encouraging.
“In all our meetings with PESO and ministry officials, we got great response for our idea. Petroleum minister Dharmendra Pradhan even appreciated the idea saying it resonated with the Smart City mission,” he asserted.
Gupta added that the company wanted clarity and was keen to abide by the governmet’s rules.
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