Petrol pumps across Mumbai and Maharashtra to remain closed for 7 hours from midnight
Petrol pumps across Mumbai and Maharashtra will remain closed for a period of seven hours to avoid late night altercations with motorists and ensure a smooth transition from old to new currency.
The representative body of petrol dealers in the state, Petrol Dealers’ Association, has reportedly written to the state level coordinator and informed him about the decision to keep petrol pumps closed from Friday midnight till early Saturday morning.
The association represents over 4,000 pumps in Maharashtra and 250 in Mumbai, all of which will remain shut from midnight November 11 till 7 am on November 12.
Earlier this week, Prime Minister Narendra Modi shocked the nation by announcing the discontinuation of Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 notes from Tuesday, essentially making near 86 percent of the nation’s total cash currency defunct.
However, those providing essential products or services like hospitals, petrol pumps, railways etc were directed to accept older currency till November 11.
As a result, thousands thronged to petrol pumps and medicals in a bid to utilize or change the older currency notes.
The association is now worried that people might continue to hand out old notes even after midnight as a last resort, which could lead to potential altercations between staffers and motorists.
According to a source close to the development, “The association has decided to shut pumps from midnight to avoid any untoward incidents. After the demonetization was announced, most pumps were expected to shell out change for the old Rs 500 or Rs 1000 notes. But everyone quickly ran out of change. So they continued to provide the fuel, but asked customers to give exact change.”
“Although we have been instructed to stop accepting the older notes from November 11 midnight, there is a possibility that people who have been unable to exchange their old notes till now might try to spend them after midnight. If our staffers refuse, it could lead to altercations with motorists. To avoid that, we have decided to open the pumps at 7 am on November 12 and simply accept the newer currency or smaller denominations,” he added.
Additionally, both banks and ATMs across the country have witnessed long queues because of which many citizens have been unable to get their hands on the new currency till now.