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Fire drill tests preparedness state at IOC’s Smart Terminal



The drill checks the response to fire on the premises of the Indian Oil Corporation Limited at Kappalur in Madurai on Friday.
| Photo Credit: R. ASHOK

Indian Oil Corporation on Friday tested the staff’s state preparedness and fire-fighting equipment at its Smart Terminal at Kappalur with a fire drill.

The smart terminal, which has automated most of its routine activities, is spread across 65 acres, where in several huge storage tanks stock 25,800 kilolitres (KL) of petrol, 42,000 KL of diesel and 8,000 KL of kerosene, besides ethanol.

“We have automated various activities, right from getting indents from retail outlets through SMS, loading of trucks with sensor-fitted delivery arms, automated access control,” explained the Deputy General Manager, Prakash, who is in-charge of the terminal.


Considering the highly inflammable property of fuel and on an average 300 tank trucks enter the terminal for filling these fuel for distribution across 11 districts, a robust fire-fighting system has been put in place.

All the 100-odd officials, employees, contract labourers, security staff are trained to handle emergency situation with a definite role.

Three water tanks with a total capacity of 10,400 KL is always ready along different types of hydrants around each fuel tank. The hydrant pipes are maintained at a seven-kg pressure for immediate response. Besides, six fire engines are installed to operate the fire-fighting system.

“We have got sprinklers around each tank that automatically starts sprinkling water when fire is detected. Besides water, foam is also sprayed to put out the flames,” explained Aparna Raj, Manager, (Operations – Safety).

She explained that emergency shutdown buttons are provided at each tank and also at multiple locations across the terminal so that anyone can operate it immediately after noticing fire or smoke from anywhere in the terminal.


As the siren goes off, all trucks suspend their loading operation and leave the campus immediately. Employees rush to the fire spot duly assisted by a man waving a red flag to help them identify the right spot.

Even as hand-held fire extinguishers are used by the workers, the hydrants are operated simultaneously depending on the situation. The sprinklers of neighbouring tanks are operated so that the unaffected tanks are cooled down as a preventive measure.

“Fighting fire at the terminal has to swift and put out at the earliest as any escalation of flames will do more damage,” said Chief Manager, Corporate Communications, K. Murali. The local fire station is alerted.

“As the siren goes off, fire fighting equipment from mutual-aid partners — from terminals of other oil companies rush here to help us,” he added.

These drills are conducted extensively to check the efficiency of the fire fighting equipment and the employees response, said V. Vetriselvakumar, Chief General Manager, Corporate Communications.


Even a minute act of employees and functioning of the equipment at the drill is analysed in great detail aimed at improving. Those found wanting to act during emergency situation are provided additional training.

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China’s Backing for Indian-American Ajay Banga to Head World Bank Doubtful




Last Updated: March 23, 2023, 01:32 IST

63-year-old Banga, who is nominated by US President Joe Biden to head the Bank. (Image: Reuters)

Reports from Washington said 63-year-old Banga, who is nominated by US President Joe Biden to head the Bank, is due to visit China on Wednesday

China on Wednesday sounded doubtful about backing Indian-American business leader Ajay Banga to lead the World Bank, saying it is “open” to supporting ”other potential candidates” based on merit.

Reports from Washington said 63-year-old Banga, who is nominated by US President Joe Biden to head the Bank, is due to visit China on Wednesday to meet officials of the People’s Bank of China to seek Beijing’s support for his candidature.


Asked whether China will back Banga, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Wang Wenbin told a media briefing here that “we have noted the candidate nominated by the US side and are open to other potential candidates”.

He said the World Bank is the most influential multilateral development institution in the world and is of systemic importance to global poverty reduction and development.

“As a major shareholder of the World Bank, China stands ready to work with all parties for an open, transparent and merit-based presidential selection process,” he said and asked the media to competent authorities for more details.

Biden last month announced that the US is nominating Banga to lead the World Bank, saying the Indian-American business leader is uniquely equipped to lead the global institution at “this critical moment in history.”


If confirmed by the World Bank Board of Directors, Banga would be the first-ever Indian-American and Sikh-American to head either of the two top international financial institutions: International Monetary Fund and the World Bank.

Banga currently serves as Vice Chairman at General Atlantic. Previously, he was President and CEO of Mastercard, leading the company through a strategic, technological and cultural transformation. He was awarded the Padma Shri in 2016.

“Ajay is uniquely equipped to lead the World Bank at this critical moment in history,” President Biden said in a statement.

“He has spent more than three decades building and managing successful, global companies that create jobs and bring investment to developing economies, and guiding organisations through periods of fundamental change,” Biden said. 

Read all the Latest News here


(This story has not been edited by News18 staff and is published from a syndicated news agency feed)

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No shortage of fertilizers for kharif season: Mandaviya




Union Chemicals and Fertilizers Minister Mansukh Mandaviya.
| Photo Credit: Reuters

Union Chemicals and Fertilizers Minister Mansukh Mandaviya on Wednesday said there was no shortage of fertilizers for the upcoming kharif season.

Talking to presspersons here, Mr. Mandaviya said there was adequate stock of urea on account of the long-term supply agreements the Ministry had with several producers abroad.

On di-ammonium phosphate (DAP), he said more import would be needed during the season.


He said the stocks available in the country at the start of April and the estimated domestic production between April and September would be sufficient to meet the projected requirement during the kharif season. He said there was no need to import urea and NPK fertilizers from the spot markets.

The estimated requirement of urea for the kharif season, he said, was 179 lakh tonnes and the total availability would be 194.31 lakh tonnes, including an opening stock of 55 lakh tonnes as of April 1 and production of 139.31 lakh tonnes during the next six months.

“Similarly, the opening stock of DAP is 25 lakh tonnes and production is estimated at 20 lakh tonnes, taking the total availability to 45 lakh tonnes for the kharif season. The requirement for DAP for Kharif is estimated at 58.82 lakh tonnes. The gap would be filled through imports,” he added.

The total requirement of NPKs for kharif is 63.72 lakh tonnes and the availability will be 77.15 lakh tonnes, including an opening stock of 28 lakh tonnes and estimated production of 49.15 lakh tonnes.

“We will not need to import urea and NPK fertilisers for Kharif season. A small quantity of DAP will need to be imported,” he said.


The country had imported 91.36 lakh tonnes of urea, 54.62 lakh tonnes of DAP, 24.60 lakh tonnes of muriate of potash and 11.70 lakh tonnes of NPK fertilisers in 2021-22.

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Kailash Gehlot presents Delhi budget, remembers Sisodia




Delhi Finance Minister Kailash Gahlot on Wednesday presented a Rs 78,800-crore budget, giving a major push to transport and infrastructure with an allocation of Rs 21,817 crore ahead of the G20 Summit, and announced a comprehensive plan to make the capital a ‘clean, beautiful and modern city’.

IMAGE: Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal and Delhi Finance Minister Kailash Gahlot arrive for the presentation of Delhi Budget for the financial year 2023-24, at Delhi Legislative Assembly, on Wednesday, March 22, 2023. Photograph: Shahbaz Khan/PTI Photo

Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal said the budget has something for everyone and free schemes like bus ride for women, power subsidy and pilgrimage for senior citizens will continue in the next financial year as well.


However, the education and health sectors, two highest priority areas of the Aam Aadmi Party dispensation, have not seen a major hike.

The government has proposed Rs 9,742 crore for the health sector, a marginal decline, while in the last budget, it was Rs 9,769 crore.


The education department has been given Rs 16,575 crore. In the 2022-23 budget, it had the highest allocation of Rs 16,278 crore.

An outlay of Rs 9,337 crore in the transport sector has been proposed for the next financial year.


Opposition Bharatiya Janata Party dismissed the budget as ‘directionless’ and alleged that it is a bundle of lies and has only paper announcements.

In his 150-minute speech in the Delhi assembly, Gahlot said a comprehensive infrastructure rejuvenation project was being launched in a very significant year when Delhi will be hosting India’s first G20 summit.

The comprehensive plan includes beautification of 1,400-km roads maintained by PWD, construction of 26 flyovers and three double-decker flyovers, induction of 1,600 electric buses and electrification of all bus depots.

Also, the government has proposed to construct three world-class inter-state bus terminals, two multi-level bus depots, two modern bus terminals and nine new bus depots. As many as 1,400 new and modern bus queue shelters will also be built in the national capital.

Six-point action plan for a clean Yamuna and clearing all three garbage mountains of Delhi are also among the major schemes announced by the AAP government on Wednesday.


In the 2023-24 Budget, the government has set aside Rs 2,034 crore for the beautification and upgrade of PWD roads.

Gahlot announced that the Municipal Corporation of Delhi will be given Rs 8,241 crore in the financial year 2023-24, up from Rs 4,374 crore allocated during 2022-23.

He also said a loan of Rs 850 crore was earmarked for the civic body for the removal of mountains of garbage.

The government announced that it will set up 100 mohalla clinics. The number of free diagnostic tests in mohalla clinics will increase from 256 to 450 in the next financial year.

The Delhi government’s budget size for the financial year 2022-23 was Rs 75,800 crore and Rs 69,000 crore in the preceding year.


The 2023-24 budget is almost two and a half times the expenditure of Rs 30,940 crore in the year 2014-15, and 8.69 per cent higher than the revised estimates for 2022-23.

Addressing a post-budget press conference, Kejriwal that this is because Delhi has an honest government.

“Finally, the budget was presented today. It has something for everyone. We have so far invested heavily in the education, health and electricity sectors and this will continue. This budget focuses on a clean, beautiful and modern Delhi,” he said.

“We have achieved so much despite so many hurdles. This shows our excellent administrative skills. Delhi would have seen much more progress had it got full statehood,” the chief minister said.

The presentation of the budget was delayed by a day as the Centre sought clarifications, including ‘higher allocation’ for advertisements and ‘lower capital expenditure’ in the annual financial statement.


On Tuesday, the Union home ministry gave its approval to the budget even as Kejriwal alleged that the whole issue was created by the Centre to satisfy its ego.

The budget estimate of Rs 78,800 crore includes Rs 56,983 crore under revenue expenditure and an outlay of Rs 21,817 crore under capital expenditure.

Gahlot said the share of capital expenditure as part of the overall budget has also risen to 27.68 per cent in the budget.

The AAP government has earmarked Rs 557.2 crore for advertisements in the next financial year.

It has proposed Rs 320 crore for the construction of three double-decker flyovers, which will come up at Bhajanpura-Yamuna Vihar, Azadpur-Rani Jhansi intersections and Saket-Pul Prahaladpur.


Vehicles will run on the lower deck while the Metro rail will run on the upper deck.

“By the end of the year 2023, Delhi will have the largest fleet of electric buses among all the states of India. By the end of 2025, Delhi will have a fleet of 10,480 buses,” the finance minister said.

While announcing the Mohalla bus scheme for ensuring the last mile connectivity in the city, he said 100 feeder e-buses will be procured in 2023-24 while 2,180 in next two years.

All 57 bus depots in Delhi will be electrified by this year, he said, adding that the government will spend around Rs 1,500 crore on this.

The government will also develop a new world-class ISBT at Dwarka.


Talking about allocation for the education sector, Gahlot said the Delhi government will provide new tablets to all teachers, principals and vice-principals, besides setting up new computers in 350 schools.

He said more branches of the Ambedkar Schools of Specialised Education will come up in 2023. In 2021, there were 20 schools of specialised education, which will be increased to 37 in 2023.

He said that the dream of a clean and beautiful Delhi is incomplete without a clean and beautiful Yamuna.

“In the next year, we will rapidly expand the reach of the sewer network to all the colonies and JJ clusters of Delhi and upgrade the capacities of our sewage treatment plants on a war footing to achieve the vision of clean Yamuna,” he said.

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