Bengaluru, Jul 4: A city-based startup which recently started a first-of-its-kind door delivery of diesel here, has hit a roadblock, after Petroleum and Explosives Safety Organisation directed state-run oil marketing companies and private retailers not to sell fuel, citing "safety."
In a letter to Union Oil Minister Dharmendra Pradhan and PESO, Mypetrolpump CEO Ashish Kumar Gupta has requested them to pass an interim order for certain limited quantity of delivery which would allow the firm to resume its operations on pilot basis until PESO notifies guidelines for doorstep fuel delivery businesses.
Pradhan had in April tweeted that the government was exploring ways to facilitate home delivery of petroleum products. ANB Fuels, under the brand MyPetrolPump, had launched its operations from June 18 with three delivery vehicles, each with a capacity of 950 litres, but had to suspend the delivery within four days of launch due to a circular issued by PESO to Oil companies to stop providing fuel to it. The circular, Gupta said, has resulted in the nascent firm losing over Rs 30 lakh per month.
"The firm had sourced its funds from their hard-earned savings," he said. In a letter, dated June 22, to IOCL General Manager Amarendra Kumar, PESO asked him to intimate oil companies not to allow and fill such vehicles for doorstep delivery of fuel because the act of supply of petroleum products is "illegal and fraught with danger" to the public and property in the absence of guidelines pertaining to safety and procedures.
PESO, an agency entrusted with the responsibility to ensure safety of public and property from petroleum products, said the vehicles used by the firm are not approved by it. It also noted that as per Petroleum Rules 2002, petroleum shall not be filled from the tank or the pump into a container or receptacle other than those securely clamped or fitted to a motor vehicle. In a letter to PESO on July 1, Gupta had clarified that "since petrol pumps are licensed under Form XIV therefore, filling of containers less than 1000 litres in petrol pumps, securely clamped to the motor vehicle is in absolute adherence to the rules." Gupta, who shared the letters, also said the firm's refuellers are built and tested by fabricator and competent persons certified by PESO as listed in its website.
On the response to his business, Gupta said, the firm received 4,000 calls and 600 order requests for delivery within three days of the launch. "We had delivered close to 5,000 litres of diesel until our business was suspended," he said. The firm has got more than 100 customers including 30 schools and a few apartments, in Bengaluru, Gupta added.