Bus, truck owners oppose fuel vends’ plan to cut service time

August 4th, 2008 - 9:58 pm ICT by IANS  

Kozhikode, Aug 4 (IANS) The bus and lorry operators in Kerala have opposed the decision of the fuel stations to reduce their service time from Aug 18. The All-Kerala Federation of Petroleum Dealers Saturday said the dealers had decided to limit their services from 6 a.m. to 8 p.m. on weekdays and would operate only one fuel station in each of the sub-district in the state on Sundays.

The transporters said this move would hit their services, causing hardship to the public.

“The decision will affect bus services. The buses usually go to the petrol pumps for refuelling after their last trip. Many buses conduct service till midnight. How can they conduct service next day if the pumps close by 8 p.m.?” asked P.C. Moideen Koya, the Kozhikode district president of All-Kerala Bus Operators’ Organisation.

At present, the fuel stations in the state remain open till 10 p.m. while many remain open all through the night.

Moideen Koya said he suspected the new timing was part of a plan to push up the sale of the branded petrol and diesel. “When there is a rush for fuel at the stations, customers won’t mind buying the costly branded fuel.”

“If the pumps do not open on Sundays, how can we conduct the service next day? The government should intervene in this issue,” said Koya.

According to lorry operators, the decision by fuel station owners would seriously affect distribution of essential commodities in the state.

“Ninety percent of the trucks go for trips during night. The loading and unloading take place during the day and therefore it is not possible for trucks to go for refuelling then,” said K.K. Hamsa, secretary of Kerala Lorry Owners’ Federation.

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