Chennai: Beginning 14 May, petrol pumps in eight states will be closed on Sundays following Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s call to conserve oil, a fuel pump owners’ body said in Chennai on Tuesday.
“We had planned to shut our outlets on Sundays a few years back. But oil marketing companies had then requested us to reconsider our decision. Now we have decided to shut the outlets on Sundays," said Suresh Kumar, an executive committee member of the consortium of Indian petroleum dealers. He said the association’s decision was made in view of the Prime Minister’s call during his recent “mann ki baat" programme to conserve oil to save the environment.
Kumar, also the vice-president of Tamil Nadu Petroleum Dealers Association, said nearly 20,000 outlets in Tamil Nadu, Kerala, Karnataka, Puducherry, Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, Maharashtra and Haryana would be shut for 24 hours on Sundays, starting 14 May.
“In Tamil Nadu, we expect a business loss of Rs150 crore if we do not operate on a Sunday. But we have been seeing a decline in sales on Sundays by up to 40%," he said.
Asked if the association’s decision was supported by the oil marketing companies (OMCs), he said, “We will communicate our decision to them shortly." Kumar said the petrol pumps which normally have about 15 staff each would have one staff member on the holidays to provide fuel if there is an emergency situation.
On the issue of OMCs hiking the margins to petroleum outlets, he said the association was discussing it and would soon make an announcement in this regard. “That struggle is going on. We are meeting our association members shortly. We will announce our decision soon," he said.