HSVP directed to conduct survey of fuel stations to check for permit violations
The State Information Commission (SIC) has directed the Haryana Shahari Vikas Pradhikaran (HSVP) to survey all fuel pumping stations (petrol, diesel and CNG) allotted by it across the state and check whether kiosks, ATMs or food/grocery booths are being run on their premises without permission from the authority, and submit a report before the commission within the next three months.
The directions were given in response to an RTI application filed by Gurugram-based activist Aseem Takyar, who had sought information on whether the HSVP was charging, or receiving, any rent from the commercial establishments being run from the fuel stations.
“All fuel pumps (in the city) have ATMs, food kiosks and pollution checking centres. When I asked the HSVP whether it was charging any rent from them, the answer was naught,” Takyar said, adding that majority fuel pump owners were evading rent, thus causing loss to the state exchequer.
In Gurugram, the HSVP has allotted 36 fuel pumps, out of which 11 are under the jurisdiction of estate office-1 and 25 are under the jurisdiction of estate office-2. On an average, the HSVP charges ₹1- ₹1.5 lakh per month as rent.
As per the HSVP allotment norms, the site should not be used for anything other than the purpose for which it is being allotted.While the 2013 policy allows eateries, ATMs, etc to be opened, such permission has to be sought and is granted only if the site in question meets the land area requirements.
However, Gurugram petrol pump owners said they are allowed to sell fuel-related products. “These products are sold as per the fuel company’s policy, but are aligned with our business,” a petrol pump owner, who preferred anonymity, said. He added that the rent from such activities usually varies from ₹5,000 to ₹15,00 per unit. When asked if the details sought through the RTI application were available, survey branch of HSVP sub-division 1 admitted that they had no record on the existence of such commercial establishments in the city and that no rent or fees was being paid by said establishments to the state.
“I was not satisfied with the answer and I appealed to the SIC, as the state exchequer was suffering losses,” Takyar said. After hearing his appeal, Haryana chief information commissioner Yashpal Singal, on April 5, recommended a statewide survey of all HSVP-allotted stations and sought a report by July 16. HSVP chief administrator (Panchkula) D Suresh said the matter was yet to reach him. “This is a positive suggestion. Once I get the file, this issue would be looked into in detail,” Suresh said.