Fuel retail stations in Karnataka will function in one shift from 7am to 2pm with immediate effect until the time the lockdown is in force. This follows a decision taken by Karnataka State Federation of Petroleum Dealers since most of their staff are finding it difficult to reach their respective fuel stations due to lack of public transport and monitoring of people on roads by police.
Anand Karnad, general secretary of KSFPD told TOI that there is also confusion at the district level on how the exemption granted by ministry of home affairs in its nationwide lockdown order will be implemented locally by respective district administrations.
In Karnataka, chief minister B S Yediyurappa tweeted people not to resort to panic buying as all essentials like food, vegetable and fruit shops, pharmacies, petrol pumps, etc will remain open.
Even Mangaluru city police commissioner P S Harsha reflected the same sentiment in his tweet while appealing to people not to resort to panic buying. Harsha said stores selling essential items including petrol will remain open from 6am to noon and people could make use of this time period to make their purchases. Anand said even the skeletal staff working at the retail petrol outlets are finding it difficult to commute to and from their workplace.
The federation is also toying with the idea of allowing retail outlets of any one OMC – HPCL, IOCL and BPCL respectively to function on one day since most major towns and cities have their outlets.
In certain areas of the state, all OMCs outlets have been closed on orders of district administration there and only official and emergency service vehicles are being fuelled at outlets where they normally do so through indent purchases, Anand noted.