Assam (Tinsukia) : The Indian Oil Corporation suffered a huge embarrassment during launching of the brand new M15 Petrol event at Tinsukia on Saturday, after an obscene video was displayed in the stage backdrop LED screen in the presence of Union Minister of State for Petroleum and Natural Gas, Rameswar Teli.

The untoward incident happened during the live stream of the event, which was attended by IOC Chairman S M Vaidya, NITI Ayog member Dr V K Saraswat, Executive Director R&D wing of IOC Deepak Saxena.

Meanwhile, police have also launched an investigation into the incident that took place during the event.

The obscene video popped up on the backdrop LED screen for as long as 10 seconds while an IOC dignitary was addressing the gathering, leaving everyone present at the event in a state of shock.

Notably, roll out of the M15 petrol is seen as a huge success story that will not just reduce India’s crude oil imports, but will also reduce fossil fuel’s footprint that is triggering climate change.

The IOC has rolled out 15 percent Methanol blended petrol, a highly ambitious roadmap of Niti Aayog to reduce footprints of fossil fuels on pilot basis, a move seen to reduce India’s crude import by nearly 15 percent in the coming days. 

The event was also attended by Assam minister for Labour and Employment Sanjoy Kishan and Chairman of Assam Petrochemical Limited Bimal Kr Deka. The other dignitaries present in the event include MLA of Digboi Suren Phukan, Deputy Commissioner of Tinsukia Narsing Pawar, senior officials of IOC (Assam Oil Division), among others.

Speaking to the media, Union Miniter Rameswar Teli said, “If at all such an incident has taken place, it is a very serious and concerning matter. I did not see the obscene video as I was listening to the IOC official who was addressing the gathering. However, I have directed the deputy commissioner to conduct a high-level inquiry. Those involved will be severely punished.”

Earlier, highlighting the future explanation plans of Digboi refinery, Teli spoke about India’s plan to reduce crude imports by focussing on Methanol economy alongside increasing production of Ethanol.

The incident drew the ire of the Assam minister Kishan, who ordered the team engaged in the live telecast of the event to immediately stop the display.

Talking to EastMojo, Riounjoy Kakoti, Additional Superintendent of police, said: “We have started our investigation into the unpleasant incident. 

Without disclosing the names, Kakoti said, “We have interrogated a few persons who were involved in handling the technical aspects during live stream of the event. Since it is technical matter, the progress of investigation will reveal what exactly happened and who is involved behind the incident.”

“We have seized two memory card besides some equipment,” a source in the police said.

An IOC officials said that an internal inquiry will be conducted.

Underlining the importance of M15 petrol, NITI Ayog member Dr V K Saraswat said that the three main benefits include reducing India’s dependency on crude imports, reducing emission of carbon monoxide and other hydrocarbons which are detrimental to environment as well as availability of cheaper fuel.

Saraswat, who envisaged this ambitious project few years ago, said, “Few years ago, I visited Assam where cheapest Methanol is manufactured by Assam Petrochemical Limited and spoke to then Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal regarding the project. Later, I visited the APL and finally tasked IOC to work on the project of methanol blended petrol, who turned it into reality with lots of effort”.

We have conducted trial run on several vehicles for thousand of km and a Pune-based certifying agency has certified use of M15 petrol in vehicles, he said, adding “On the lines of M15 petrol, work is on to introduce M15 diesel.”

IOC chairman S M Vaidya said, “This is a milestone in achieving fuel independence and reducing the burden of imports. There were several challenges that initially hit road-blockade. However, research and development wing of IOC with support from experts from IIT Delhi, removed hurdles one after another, making it a major success story.”

“We have chosen Assam as the first state to roll-out the M15 petrol on pilot basis and shall extend it to other regions and state in the coming time,” added Vaidya.

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