Mumbai petrol pumps are to remain closed from 12:00 midnight on Friday to 5:00 am Saturday morning. According to reports, this step was taken in anticipation of certain law and order issues as petrol pumps would not be able to accept old Rs 500 and 1000 notes after midnight. This means that people would not be able to refuel their vehicles for a good 5 hours on November 12. The Petrol dealers’ Association had already written and informed the state level coordinator about the matter on Thursday. Maharashtra is reported to have around 4,500 petrol pumps out of which 250 are in Mumbai.
Earlier Prime Minister Narendra Modi had announced that Rs 500 and 1000 notes would be scrapped overnight but had allowed petrol pumps to accept these notes for the next 72 hours, which was till the midnight of November 11. Ravi Shinde, leader of Petrol dealers’ association told HT that the decision had been taken to avoid any conflicts. He said that according to the government orders they could not accept these old notes anymore but feared that the crowd will still come after midnight and demand fuel with these scrapped notes.
He said that it would be quite difficult to control the crowd in such as scenario as a couple of policemen would not suffice. People have been seen flocking banks and post offices ever since they opened yesterday morning. While banks did open early at 8 am, they were not enough to reimburse the crowd for the millions of these notes that have been circulating the Indian markets among a billion people.