New Delhi: State-owned Indian Oil Corporation (IOC) on Sunday began supplying a special winter-grade diesel to Ladakh, solving technical issues faced in fuel supply to high-altitude regions during extreme winter conditions.
While IOC's Panipat refinery had flagged off the first consignment of truck carrying the special grade diesel last week, Home Minister Amit Shah presided over a function on Sunday to launch the fuel in the Ladakh region through a video link, an official statement said here.
Motorists in high-altitude sectors such as 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-degrees Celsius.
"IOC has come up with an innovative solution to this problem by introducing a special winter-grade diesel with a low pour-point of minus 33-degrees Celsius, which does not lose its fluidity function even in extreme winter conditions," the statement said.
Speaking on the occasion, Shah congratulated the people of Ladakh for getting their long-pending demand fulfilled by getting the Union Territory status for Ladakh.
The new status will accelerate the pace of holistic development of the region and bring prosperity to the people at par with the rest of India, he said.
The home minister said the Government of India has initiated a number of development projects for the UT of Ladakh in the areas of power, solar energy, education and tourism with an estimated investment of Rs 50,000 crore.
He further said that keeping in view the special development requirement of the region, the Government of India has made a provision that the budget allocation for the UT of Ladakh will remain non-lapsable so as to enable the local administration to make full use of these funds as per their development needs.
Shah assured the people of Ladakh that they will witness a fast pace of growth and development of the region under the decisive leadership of Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
Oil Minister Dharmendra Pradhan said Ladakh will now get uninterrupted supply of special winter-grade diesel, which will help reduce the hardships faced by the local people for transportation and mobility during the harsh winter months.
This will further facilitate the local economy as well as tourism of the region, he said.
Using the normal grade of diesel becomes an arduous task for the people in the winter months where temperatures fall to sub-zero temperatures of nearly minus 30-degrees Celsius.
However, the winter grade diesel produced by Panipat refinery for the first time has a pour point of minus 33-degree Celsius and does not lose its fluidity function even in the extreme winter weather of the region unlike the normal grade of diesel.
The winter grade diesel also meets BIS specification of BS-VI grade diesel.
The first delivery is being effected to the highest altitude retail outlets at Leh, an IOC statement said.
While the first truck containing winter grade diesel has been flagged off from the Panipat Marketing Complex of IOC, subsequent supplies of winter grade diesel would be done from the Jalandhar oil terminal from where this fuel grade would reach the Leh and Kargil depot to meet demands of customers of Leh Ladakh region during peak winters, it added.