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In line with Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s directive to conserve oil, the consortium of Indian petroleum dealers declared on Tuesday that fuel outlets across eight states will be closed every Sunday, beginning on May 14. The decision is expected to affect at least 20,000 fuel pumps in Tamil Nadu, Kerala, Karnataka, Puducherry, Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, Maharashtra and Haryana, Suresh Kumar, an executive committee member of the consortium, confirmed to PTI.
Emergency services, such as ambulances, will be allowed to re-fuel; at least one person will be stationed at each outlet for assistance on Sundays. According to PTI, the decision is yet to be communicated to oil marketing companies (OMCs). PTI quoted Kumar as saying, “That struggle is going on. We are meeting our association members shortly. We will announce our decision soon.”
“We had planned to shut our outlets on Sundays a few years back. But oil marketing companies had then requested us to reconsider our decision. Now we have decided to shut the outlets on Sundays,” he told PTI. He added the decision was taken after PM Modi’s recent ‘Mann ki baat’ episode, in which he called for environmental friendly initiatives.
“In Tamil Nadu, we expect a business loss of Rs 150 crore if we do not operate on a Sunday. But we have been seeing a decline in sales on Sundays by up to 40 per cent,” Kumar, who’s also the vice-president of Tamil Nadu Petroleum Dealers Associationtold news agency PTI.