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Pune’s petrol pump owners decry PMC’s toilet initiative

The petrol pump owners opposed the municipal corporation’s orders and said it was not their responsibility to manage public toilets.

pune Updated: Dec 20, 2017 15:40 IST
Abhay Khairnar
Abhay Khairnar
Hindustan Times, Pune
public toilet,pune,petrol pump
PMC recently issued a notice asking petrol pump owners to convert the lavatories to public toilets.(Rahul Raut/HT Photo)

The Pune Municipal Corporation’s efforts to convert lavatories located at fuel stations to public toilets has met with strong resistance from petrol pump owners, who have criticised the move.

The Pune Municipal Corporation (PMC) commissioner Kunal Kumar recently issued the notification in newspapers and announced that with the Swachh Bharat Mission being followed across the county, the civic body has decided to convert all the lavatories located at petrol pumps to public toilets. The corporation also asked petrol pump dealers to ensure that the toilets are in good condition and clean.

“Toilets owned by the petrol pump owners will be treated as public toilets. The responsibility to keep the toilets clean rest with pump owners,” said the notification.

The All India Petrol Dealers Association’s spokesperson Ali Daruwala told Hindustan Times that they have already opposed the move at the national level and the case is pending with the Supreme Court.

“All the dealers have opposed the municipal corporation’s stand to convert lavatories at petrol pumps to public toilets. The All India Petrol Dealers Association has already challenged this decision at the national level in the Supreme Court. Despite being a subjudice case, the civic body chief has issued the order,” said Daruwala.

Ali Daruwala said that the petrol pump owners will not follow the civic body order. “If the PMC wants to execute it, they should take possession of these toilets and carry out cleaning work. It’s not the petrol pump dealers’ job to clean the public toilets.”

According to Daruwala, there are 60 petrol pumps in the city and all of them have decided not to follow the commissioner’s instructions.

One of the petrol pump owners said that the fuel station premises are declared as secured zones. Petrol is highly explosive. Petrol dealers can keep a watch on customers, but who will take responsibility if someone lights a cigarette at the petrol pump while using the toilet, said the owner.

Petrol dealers said, “It is not the dealer’s job to provide the toilets and clean it. As PMC has failed in its job to create more public toilets, it is passing its duties to others. At least before issuing such orders, the municipal administration should have had a dialogue with the petrol dealers. Instead of doing it, the civic body has directly issued the notice, said Daruwala.

First Published: Dec 19, 2017 21:37 IST