Petrol pumps across Mumbai were choc-a-bloc with motorists as hundreds turned up at fuel stations to palm off banned notes of Rs500 and Rs1,000. The mad rush coaxed owners to seek police protection.
“We have requested the Mumbai police commissioner to deploy forces to avoid law and order situations,” said Ravi Shinde, the leader of the Petrol Dealers Association.
Shinde said that although petrol pump owners were accepting high denomination notes, the massive rush had made it difficult to return change. “I waited for almost an hour at a petrol pump. The jam was so bad that none of the cars could move either way,” said Aveek Biswas, a Malad resident.
With some fuel stations running out of stock, buses plying schoolchildren were running late. Many operators were unprepared as schools were shut for the Diwali vacations.
“Nearly 20% buses are 10 to 15 minutes late because some petrol pumps opened late or stayed shut,” said Anil Garg, president of the school bus owners association that runs 300 buses.
“It wasn’t a problem in the morning. Our buses had sufficient petrol for one trip but they had to be refuelled for the afternoon shift,” said Garg.