The petroleum ministry had tweeted that it neither endorsed nor approved of a move by a small section of dealers to keep petrol pumps closed on Sundays.
Consortium of Indian Petroleum Dealers (CIPD) has passed a resolution to down shutters once a week on a call given by Prime Minister Narendra Modi for saving energy.
"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", the Association President said.
"In line with the Prime Minister's appeal, the petroleum dealers in Tamil Nadu and Puducherry have made a decision to help in the reduction of petroleum consumption by declaring all Sundays as holidays from May 14", Murali said. But oil marketing companies had then requested us to reconsider our decision. The new norm to close the pumps on Sundays will be implemented in other states in a phased manner. "That is besides saving resources and pollution", said Ravi Shinde of Mumbai Petrol Dealers' Association. Murali said that, "while exact figures are not available for sales on Sundays, it will be around 20 per cent less". A complete 24 hour holiday is declared to Petroleum filling stations in these 8 states. "All these days we have been functioning paying workers double wages".More news: Snapchat CEO's fiancee Miranda Kerr also faces Indian Twitterati's wrath
He said there were around 4,850 outlets selling petrol and diesel in Tamil Nadu and Puducherry alone. However, there will be one employee on Sundays to supply fuel in case of emergencies.
When enquired about whether the oil marketing companies (OMCs) are supporting the decision or not, Kumar said that the association would inform them soon. Murali also added that fuel pumps in the seven states and Puducherry will only work between 9am and 6pm on weekdays from May 15. This has become unaffordable due to the low operating margins, he said. We are meeting our association members shortly.
Petroleum dealers in Haryana said the holiday move followed a decision of the Consortium of Indian Petroleum Leaders (CIPD) to observe a one-shift sale model.