Kochi, Jul 12: Petrol pumps in Kerala will remain closed on Monday, Jul 12 as a protest against the decision of Hindustan Petroleum Corporation Ltd (HPCL) to start 349 new pumps in the state.
Around 1720 petrol pumps will be closed from 6 am to 6 pm except those being run by PSU oil companies directly and that of Kerala state Civil Supplies Corporation.
HPCL plan to start 349 new pumps in the state during the year 2010 and 2011. The other PSU oil companies, IOC and BPCL also plan to start another 400 new pumps.
"The HPCL's unilateral decision to start new pumps was without properly conducting econonic viability", said M Radhakrishnan, All Kerala Federation of Petroleum Traders Secretary.
"New pumps, being set up in close proximity of existing pumps, would reduce sales volumes of the existing ones. Seventy eight per cent of the petrol pumps were able to sell only about 3,300 litres of petroleum products a day. Labour cost and banking charges were high in Kerala which further reduces the margins of dealers, there is a need to revise the commission charges," he added.
Petroleum pump dealers will also conduct a march to the office of HPCL Terminal in Kochi on Monday, Jul 12.