Starting May 14, retail fuel outlets in Tamil Nadu and neighbouring Puducherry will remain closed for 24 hours on Sundays.
Around 4,650 outlets run by private dealers selling fuel of Indian Oil Corporation, Bharat Petroleum Corporation and Hindustan Petroleum Corporation would shut shop from Saturday midnight to Sunday midnight.
Announcing this on Tuesday, Tamil Nadu Petroleum Dealers Association (TNPDA) president K.P.Murali said the move would help in reducing fuel consumption.
“Prime Minister Narendra Modi had asked people to contribute to fuel reduction in his first Mann Ki Baat on All India Radio and that has inspired us,” he said.
Sundays were chosen since sales were usually down by 20%-30%. “In our outlets too, one employee would be stationed in case of an emergency. Motorists will get used to the new idea soon,” Geetha Mathew, TNPDA vice president, said .
Annually, the average sale of petrol and diesel in the State is estimated to be ₹ 56,000 crore and ₹ 153 crore per day. Similarly, on an average, 5,000 litres of petrol/diesel was sold a day in one fuel outlet.
Recently, the Consortium of Indian Petroleum Dealers (CIPD), the apex body of country’s petrol outlets, had resolved at its executive committee meeting at Kurukshetra that Sundays would be observed as weekly holidays for all retail outlets in the country.
“Though we dealers will lose out on our income, we do not mind closing our outlets. But in the overall interest of the country, we are doing this. The idea is to ask people not to take their vehicles out on Sundays. If there is no fuel, they will think twice before going out,” K. Suresh Kumar, vice president, TNPDA said.
CIPD President A.D. Sathyanarayanan in a statement said the Petroleum Conservation Regulatory Authority had received thousands of messages supporting Mr. Modi’s suggestion of avoiding usage of petrol/diesel on one day a week.