Kochi: Majority of the 1720 petrol pumps
across Kerala are likely to remain closed on Monday protesting
against the decision of Hindustan Petroleum Corporation Ltd
(HPCL) to start 349 new pumps in the state.
The pumps will be closed from 6.00 am to 6.00 pm, except those
being run by PSU oil companies directly and that of Kerala
State Civil Supplies Corporation, which totally number around
15-20 in the state, All Kerala Federation of Petroleum Traders
Secretary M Radhakrishnan said here on Sunday.
"The HPCL`s unilateral decision to start new pumps was
without properly conducting economic viability," he said.
Around 700-800 new pumps are expected to be started this
fiscal by three PSU oil companies in Kerala -- IOC, HPCL and
BPCL, he said. Of this, HPCL is to start 349 new pumps.
New pumps, being set up in close proximity of existing
pumps, would reduce sales volumes of the existing ones, he
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, he said, adding there
was need to revise the commission charges.