NEW DELHI: Union Home Minister Amit Shah on Sunday launched the supply of special winter-grade diesel for high altitude Ladakh, which faces sub-zero temperatures during the winter months.
Inaugurating through video conference the supply of the fuel to the newly created Union Territory (UT), the Home Minister said the winter-grade diesel has been developed by the Indian Oil Corporation Limited (IOCL) to address the problem of loss of fuel during extreme winter conditions.
Motorists in high-altitude areas like Ladakh, Kargil, Kaza and Keylong face the problem of freezing of diesel in their vehicles when winter temperatures drop to as low as minus 30-degree celsius, an official said.
After being apprised of the difficulties, the IOCL has come up with an innovative solution to this problem by introducing a special winter-grade diesel which does not lose its fluidity even in extreme winter conditions, the official said.
This winter-grade diesel also meets BIS specification of BS-VI grade and was successfully produced and certified for the first time by the Panipat Refinery on November 8.
Union Minister for Petroleum and Natural Gas Dharmendra Pradhan and BJP MP from Ladakh Jamyang Tsering Namgyal were present during the launch.
The IOCL, after several interactions with customers and channel partners in the region, received feedback about the difficulties of using standard diesel in the winter months.
The Corporation then worked on developing an in-house solution to the problem and undertook the conceptualisation, component stream identification, blend study, tank preparation, hardware modification, quality adjustment of the unit streams, flushing of the associated infrastructure, production, certification of the desired product grade and immediate road supplies to deliver a long-lasting solution to this challenging issue, another official said.
The first delivery of the fuel is being effected with the launch by the Home Minister to the highest altitude retail outlets at Leh as the first tank truck containing the winter-grade diesel has been flagged off from Panipat in Haryana.
Subsequent supplies would be done from Jalandhar in Punjab from where this special grade fuel would reach Leh and Kargil depots to meet demands of customers of the UT of Ladakh during peak winters.
The IOCL, for the last over six decades through its unfailing supply and logistics network, is already undertaking the mammoth annual task of advanced winter stocking for the region to ensure round the year availability of fuel supplies despite the closure of roads for nearly six months.