Mumbai

Petrol pumps in Pune directed to stop sale of fuel

Silent streets: A petrol pump on Laxmi Road in Pune wears a deserted look after the district administration directed all fuel pumps to stop supply.

Silent streets: A petrol pump on Laxmi Road in Pune wears a deserted look after the district administration directed all fuel pumps to stop supply.   | Photo Credit: Jignesh Mistry

Only vehicles ferrying people involved in dispensing essential services will be allowed to fill fuel

The Pune district administration on Tuesday directed all fuel pumps to stop supply to vehicles not engaged in dispensing emergency and essential services in a bid to eliminate vehicular movement on roads and compel the public to obey lockdown orders issued in the State.

Issuing a directive under the Epidemic Diseases Act, 1897, the Maharashtra Police Act, 1951, and the Disaster Management Act, 2005, Pune District Collector Naval Kishore Ram said only those vehicles ferrying people involved in dispensing essential services or engaged in emergency medical services to contain the spread of the pandemic or carrying people in urgent need of medical help would be allowed to fill fuel at petrol pumps.

‘Freedom of action’

Deputy Chief Minister and Pune’s Guardian Minister Ajit Pawar said the State police and district authorities have been given complete freedom of action to implement lockdown orders and carry out State blockade, district blockade and communication shutdown as they deem fit in order to check the spread of the novel coronavirus.

Reiterating that the supply of essential commodities like foodgrains, vegetables, milk and groceries would not be affected in any way, Mr. Pawar exhorted citizens across Maharashtra to stop congregating in large numbers at market yards and grocery stores.

In a bid to facilitate movement on roads for those employees of companies and industries exempted from the lockdown, the Pune Police will be issuing digital permits. Employees can mail the authorities at Punecitypolice.grievance @gmail.com to secure digital permits, which will be issued after furnishing requisite personal and company details as well as that of the official necessary for the operation of services. If stopped by the police, the employee concerned will need to show a copy of the email with his ID card.

The Pune Police have also activated four dedicated WhatsApp numbers to answer queries and entertain requests regarding the lockdown orders with respect to permissions for vehicular movement. The numbers are +91 9145003100, 8975283100, 9168003100 and 8975953100.

Cracking the whip

Meanwhile, police authorities across the State were seen enforcing the lockdown, often brandishing sticks and using force to drive away two-wheeler and four-wheeler riders and sending them packing to their homes.

Police personnel and home guards were seen hitting violators with batons and sticks in Aurangabad, Nashik, Kolhapur and Hingoli, while a mild lathi charge was carried out in Nagpur to break up an assembly of more than five people. In Washim and Parbhani districts, the district administration on seeing heavy vehicular traffic, cracked down on errant drivers, forcing them to turn towards their homes and stay indoors to avoid catching and spreading the novel coronavirus.

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Printable version | Apr 10, 2020 7:20:49 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/mumbai/petrol-pumps-in-pune-directed-to-stop-sale-of-fuel/article31158023.ece

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