New Delhi: Petrol pump owners in the national capital have called a strike on December 1 in protest over Delhi government's decision to make the PUC certificate mandatory for the refuelling of vehicles.
The day-long strike called by the Delhi Petrol Dealers Association (DPDA) would coincide with the coming into effect of Delhi government's order which makes it compulsory for motorists to present the Pollution Under Control (PUC) certificate at the time of refuelling.
The government has directed petrol pumps to keep their PUC centres open until the close of the pump itself—a move which is expected to result in an extension of the working hours of PUC centres from December 1.
“Today we got the transport department notification in which they have threatened to punish us with imprisonment of from up to one-and-a-half years to six years under Section 37 of Air Pollution Act if we fail to comply with the order.
“We are very upset with the notification and have decided that all petrol pump dealers in the city will go off work on December 1, the day the government will be implementing its decision to make PUC certificates mandatory for refuelling,” said Atul Peshawaria, president of DPDA.
Petrol pumps will remain closed from midnight of November 30 to midnight of December 1, he said.
“Petrol pump dealers are being forced by the government to implement its decision despite the fact that we are not the authority concerned. If our staff fails to read the expiry date on a PUC certificate and gives fuel to a motorist, then we will be thrown into jail, which is not fair,” Peshwaria added.
There are around 420 petrol pumps and 667 PUC Centres in the national capital.
According to the decision, motorists without a PUC certificate will not be able to refill their tanks as it will be mandatory for petrol pumps to check the PUC before selling diesel or petrol.
An expert committee had last year recommended a series of measures, including significantly hiking parking fees and other road taxes, to encourage people in the national capital to use public transport.
Talking about the decision for mandatory PUC, a senior transport department official said, “We have made it clear that petrol pump dealers will have to keep PUC centres open for as long as their petrol pumps function.
“Besides, we have also floated tenders to increase the number of PUC centres so that there will be no chaos at petrol pumps when the government implements its decision.”