Amid skyrocketing fuel prices, the illegal sale of biodiesel has increased in the coastal areas of Navi Mumbai and Raigad district. Early this week, the Uran police arrested two persons for allegedly selling bio-diesel and also seized around 7000 liters of biodiesel worth Rs 4.7 lakhs.
Local activist says that biodiesel is being used rampantly by truckers and fishermen in boats as it is available at a low price, illegally.
The arrested accused were identified as Rahul Prakash Deshmukh and Prakash Mane, both are residents of Uran. They were arrested with 7000 liters of biodiesel in two plastic containers worth Rs 4,31,550. “They were selling biodiesel without any license near Kunal Yard in Chirle along the Uran-JNPT road,” said a police official from Uran police station. He added that the action was taken on behalf of the Tehsildar office Uran.
Following the state government’s order to crack down on illegal sale of biodiesel in coastal areas, under the guidance of Bhausaheb Andhare, Uran Tehsilsar, a special team has been formed. “We had received information that biodiesel was being sold in CIDCO's open space along Uran-JNPT road in Raigad. The team visited the place and found two plastic tanks filled with biodiesel with a capacity of 5000 liters and 2000 liters. Two persons were found selling the fuel,” said an official from Uran tehsil office. He added they were selling the biodiesel without any license and also named one person involved in the illegal trade.
Gopal Saha, a local activist says that biodiesel is being sold rampantly in coastal areas in Navi Mumbai and Raigad. “As biodiesel is available at a low price compare to diesel, many truckers and fishermen buy at Rs 60 per liter from them and use it,” said Saha. He added that he had noticed on several occasions illegally transferring biodiesel from tanker to plastic cans.
Biodiesel is a renewable fuel made from low-cost palm oils, used cooking oil, and other natural feedstocks. It is available at Rs 60-75 a liter while petroleum diesel prepared from imported crude oil is commanding a price of Rs 102 per liter in the market. However, at the same time, some people involved in the selling of spurious biodiesel, available around Rs 50-55 a liter, which is made of byproducts of petroleum refineries such as a cheap furnace or fuel oils, white spirit, or mineral turpentine and the state government is curbing on it.
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