Rajkot Municipal Corporation on Tuesday ordered all the petrol pumps in the city to construct toilets for people and customers within 15 days, else action will be initiated against them. However, leaders of petrol dealers said that such facilities were already in place at the pumps, hence the notification was unwarranted.
Vadodara Municipal Corporation had issued a similar notification last month.
The notification, issued by Rajkot Municipal Commissioner Banchhanidhi Pani, warned the petrol pump operators that failing to abide by the order would lead to initiation of action against them under section 376-A of The Gujarat Provincial Municipal Corporation Act, 1948. The section empowers a municipal corporation to close premises as may be deemed to be causing nuisance.
“Almost every petrol pump in the city has toilet facilities. But we had received complaints that petrol pumps were not allowing general public to use them. Therefore, we had to issue the notification,” said Pani, adding that the move was in consonance with the Swachh Bharat mission.
However, Federation of Gujarat Petroleum Dealers Association (FGPDA), said the notification was unwarranted. “There are around 4,000 petrol pumps in the state and around 99 per cent of them have functional toilets. In Rajkot city, there are 44 petrol pumps and almost all of them have toilets. They are open to public. No dealer is keeping such facility locked,” said Dhimant Ghelani, general secretary of FGPDA.
He said that petrol pump owners will comply with the notification but they alone should not be made to bear the burden of sanitation facilities. “Our stand is that one who pays gets to use the facility. Therefore, our customers have the right to use toilet blocks. But asking us to allow general public to use the facility is stretching it a little too far,” he added.