Planning to take your car out this weekend? Then you better get to the petrol pump before it runs out of fuel.
The reason: petrol pumps are not going to purchase fresh stock of fuel, and will remain open only for eight hours on Saturday.
The Consortium of Indian Petroleum Dealers (CIPD), a body of petrol dealers, has threatened to strike work alleging that the oil marketing companies and the Union government have been ignoring their demands for a long time.
All 4,300 petrol pumps, including 253 in Mumbai, will participate in the Maharashtra-wide agitation from Saturday, said the CIPD official, adding that motorists will start to feel the effects on Sunday and Monday.
“Generally, fuel for one-and-a-half day is stocked. But no petrol pump dealer will purchase fuel on Saturday. Also, all the pumps will operate only for a single shift — from 10am to 6pm,” said Ravi Shinde, an official from petrol pump dealer’s body.
The CIPD is demanding hike in dealers’ margins, permission for collecting user charges for facilities, regulation of number of petrol pumps, a simpler policy for leasing land, and revision of retail selling price.
Shinde said the petroleum ministry and oil marketing companies were passing the buck ever since the government decontrolled prices of petroleum products.
“This is [a] very pathetic situation. [It has been] Seven months since we have been pleading with the ministry and industry, and now our trade has lost confidence,” said a press release of CIPD, adding that even giving them a deadline to settle the issues, nothing had been done.