Dry Sundays from May 14

Representational Image

Representational Image

Commuters and petrol pump owners in Gurugram are both unhappy with the suggestion to keep petrol pumps shut on Sundays, even though some of the nationwide petrol pump dealers' bodies have announced they will support the move, following PM Narendra Modi's call to conserve fuel.

Recently there was a threat from fuel pump owners to keep their outlets shut on Sundays from May, unless they were given higher margins.

All India Petroleum Dealers Association President Ajay Bansal told PTI that the association, which has almost 46,000 petrol pump owners as members, are not participating in the closure.

The decision will cover Haryana, Maharashtra and the entire southern region - Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, Tamil Nadu, Kerala as well as Puducherry. "On an average, the per day sales of fuel is for around Rs 153 crore". Murali said that, "while exact figures are not available for sales on Sundays, it will be around 20 per cent less".

He said there were around 4,850 outlets selling petrol and diesel in Tamil Nadu and Puducherry alone.

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"We request all the dealers in Tamil Nadu and Puducherry to rise up for creating a clean and prosperous "New India" by declaring Sundays as a holiday from May 14", he said.

He said the Sunday-holiday decision will save around 20 per cent fuel burned in the country. He added, "We are within our right to declare Sunday a holiday".

The Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Gas on Thursday criticised the decision of a section of petrol pump operators to close their outlets, mostly in south India, on Sunday. While this is essentially a move to curb operational costs, KP Murali, the president of the Tamil Nadu Petroleum Dealers Association says otherwise. "All these days we have been paying workers double wages", he said.

The petroleum ministry claimed that the move to shut petrol bunks on Sundays and work in fixed shifts was not endorsed by major dealers federations.

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