Mumbai petrol pumps to stop serving fuel from August 1
To protest against the soon to be implemented ‘No Helmet, No Petrol’ rule, Federation of All Maharashtra Petrol Dealers Association (FAMPEDA), on Wednesday, announced that all pumps across the city will be emptying their stocks and stop purchasing fuel from August 1.fa
“We will empty whatever stocks are at the pumps till July 31, after which there could be a shortage of fuel supply at the pumps,” said Ravi Shinde of Petrol Dealer’s association.
The artificial scarcity may even affect motorists who try to refuel on August 2, as the stock in the 220 plus petrol pumps across the city may be grossly inadequate. While the association is protesting against the rule for two-wheelers, all vehicles will have to bear the brunt of the scarcity.
Last week, the state government informed the Legislative Assembly that helmet-less bikers will not be allowed to buy fuel from any petrol pump in Maharashtra.
State Transport Minister Diwakar Raote told the House that the decision has been taken to promote safety on roads. “Supplying fuel to riders not wearing helmets is seen as encouraging riding without helmets,” Raote said in a statement.
Shinde said, “We had initially planned a work-to-rule protest by keeping pumps open only between 9am and 6pm from August 1. But at a closed-door meeting with pump owners in Mumbai region on Wednesday, we take an aggressive stance and stop purchasing fuel at the pumps from August 1. This could inconvenience scores of motorists. In case, the government accepts our demands, we may not resort to this extreme step.”
Since both petrol and diesel are essential commodities, dealers cannot call for a strike and shut the pumps. So, as a last resort, the pump owners will try to exhaust all stock by July 31 and simply choose not to restock.
According to a petrol pump owner from Matunga, “We want to help the traffic police, but how can we say no to paying customers? Moreover, our attendants will be required to inform the motorists about the rule, which may cause unnecessary commotion at the pump. Some may even turn violent and assault our staff.”
The department was going to implement the ‘No helmet, No petrol’ rule in two phases. During the first one, motorists would simply be informed about the rule and asked to purchase a helmet if they don’t own one. During the second phase, which was expected to start from mid-August, motorists without helmet would be turned away.