|The private refuelling stations are small operations. They are based on supplying drums of fuel stored within private homes instead of underground tanks. — Photo zing
HA NOI (VNS) — Small private household petrol stations are cropping up like mushrooms in the central province of Nghe An.
However, many of them in the districts of Dien Chau, Quynh Luu, Hoang Mai, Nghi Loc and Tuong Duong do not meet licensing requirements, threatening hundreds of lives and posing risks to the environment, according to Nong Thon Ngay Nay (Countryside Today).
In the Lach Van harbour in Dien Chau District's Dien Ngoc Commune, 600 fishing vessels regularly patronise 14 of these illegal petrol stations.
Only one station on the harbour is said to be operating in compliance with all the rules. It is the State-owned Nghe An Oil and Gas Company.
The private refuelling stations are small operations. They are based on supplying drums of fuel stored within private homes instead of underground tanks.
Nong Thon Ngay Nay said the storage of large quantities of petrol in homes posed great risks to the members of Lach Van fishing village.
Nguyen Van Dung, deputy chairman of Dien Ngoc Commune People's Committee said it was important for authorised agencies to inspect the storage spaces and advise on ways of minimising the risks of explosions.
Although oil and petrol are not supposed to be sold until all safety conditions are met, the small traders seem to have no difficulty in obtaining permission to operate.
This was revealed in a statement by Ho Sy Tam, an unlicensed private trader in Quynh Lap Commune, Hoang Mai Town.
However, Tran Thanh Hai, director of the Dien Ngoc Oil and Gas Company, a licensed trader who has to compete with unlicensed players, said this is unfair.
"The authorised agencies must straighten up there thinking to ensure that not only is business in accordance with law, but also operates with little or no risk to surrounding residents," he said.
Nguyen Tung Son, leader of a Market Watch Team at Nghe An Provincial Market said: "We are aware of small petrol stations operating along the coast, but we have too much to do that we do not have time to visit them." — VNS