After a gap of two years, Reliance Industries Limited (RIL) is all set to reopen its petrol pumps in Gujarat from today. However, the company will be selling only petrol and auto LPG and won’t sell diesel as its price is still controlled by the Union government.
It is estimated that there are around 175 retail outlets of RIL in Gujarat, out of which, company will open around 50 petrol pumps from Sunday. The company had closed down its pumps in mid-2010.
In Gujarat, there are few company-owned and company operated (coco) pumps while the numbers of dealers-operated pumps is much higher. “It is fourth time that company is reopening the petrol pumps since 2005. RIL has 175 pumps in state, including company-operated and dealers-operated. As company was not able to sell fuel at subsidised rate, pumps had to be closed down. But many dealers are still not willing to work with RIL,” said president of Saurashtra-Kutch Reliance Petrol Pump Dealers’ Association, Sunil Golwala.
Golwala had to shutdown the petrol pump in December 2009. “At that time, I operated for six months during and incurred loss of Rs3.21 lakh as fuel was bit expensive compared to public sector pumps. And with many pumps situated on highways, selling petrol alone won’t be feasible. So, dissatisfied dealers are not willing to re-open RIL pumps,” he said.
In Ahmedabad, the pump near CN Vidhyalay is believed to be company-owned and company-operated pump. “Apart from that, there are many dealers operated pumps in the city. Unless company provides solution for dealers and their margins, we are not keen on opening outlets again. I started the outlet in 2005 in Isanpur and had to close in 2007,” said city-based RIL dealer, Dinesh Shah.