THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: With over 2,000 petrol pumps across Kerala threatening to observe a shutdown on Tuesday, serpentine queues were seen outside many stations in the state on Monday.
The petroleum dealers have announced the shutdown to protest the new policy of petroleum companies, necessitating daily revision of petrol and diesel prices, saying it's causing them losses.
As part of the shutdown, dealers have not been taking supplies for the past two days, leading to some stations running out of fuel. This was another reason that long queues were witnessed on Monday.
In Kerala, there are two associations to which the more than 2,000 pumps in the state owe their allegiance. They have come together to register their protest.
"The dynamic pricing system, which is now in force, means the selling price changes every day depending on international fuel prices. On certain days, we are forced to sell it at a lower price than we have purchased and hence we are running into losses," said a pump owner who did not wish to be identified.
The dealers are also up in arms wanting a special package for low selling dealers besides seeking an increase in commissions.
Another demand that has been raised by the dealers is the immediate implementation of recommendations of the Apurva Chandra Commission, that looked into the commission structure for dealers.
While they have decided that Tuesday's shutdown is just a token, the dealers said they will have no other option but to close down their pumps indefinitely if their demands are not met.