ZARANJ (Pajhwok): The residents of Zaranj, the capital of the western Nimroz province, complained about low- quality fuel imports, but the official say measures are underway to address the issue.
Najibullah, a driver from Zaranj, told Pajhwok Afghan News they were suffering losses due to a surge in low-quality fuel imports from Iran.
The man said he had been working as on driver the Pul-i- Abresham road for six years, spending half of his earning on car repairs. His vehicle often develops faults as a result of interior fuel.
The low-quality fuel is smuggled through Abresham border and the Kang district of Nimroz province, causing problems for the people and by damaging their vehicles.
“I twice replaced my car engine’s injectors during the past two months for 5,000 afs. I fixed the engine a month ago by spending 20,000 afs. Such expenses are back-breaking for workers like me,” he regretted.
Najibullah asked the government to prevent the smuggling of poor-quality fuels into the country and crack down on their sellers and suppliers.
Sadiq Amiri, another resident of Nimroz, said: “People are concerned about low-quality fuel imports. They have been suffering losses because of such fuels.”
The substandard fuel is smuggled into the country through the Kang district of Nimroz through tractors before being sold to drivers in gallons.
“These fuels are also sold in plastic bottles to the drivers. Different substances like plastic particles, water, dirt and other things are mixed with the fuels, damaging engines of vehicles,” Amiri claimed.
He asked the government to prevent the sordid business, which could be witnessed in no other province of the country.
Matiullah Saber, director of Afghanistan National Standards Authority (ANSA), acknowledged the imports of low-quality fuels through Kang district. He said measures were being taken to prevent such imports.
Officials of the governor’s house are working on a draft law for the construction of a fuel depot near the Iranian border in Kang, where the imported fuel will be tested for quality checks.
The low quality fuels would be returned while standard supplies would be allowed to enter markets, the director added.
Oil traders, who were given 25 days to build the depots, have got five days left to complete their work. Thereafter the draft regulation would be implemented, he continued.
Currently, fuel imports are taking place via two routes. The oil Imported through Abresham border is tested and controlled. But the supplies through Kang are not checked.
As a result, there are problems with these supplies. Around 300 metric tonnes of fuels were imported through Kang, creating problems for the people, Saber said.
“At the moment, there are 99 oil tankers in Kandahar province. The quality of the fuel they are carrying will be tested as well,” the official assured.
ANSA has so far retuned 28 tankers of low-quality fuel to Iran, Saber revealed, hoping the problems of transporters would be solved with the implementation of the draft.
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