According to dealers, the consumption of petrol and diesel in the state has fallen sharply to about 1.2 million litres from 5.5 million litres, which included 2.2 million litres of petrol and 3.3 million litres of diesel, due to the lockdown.
While dealers in Raipur were expecting some recovery as the state capital accounts for 20 per cent of the total fuel consumption in the state, the fuel consumption there too, recorded sharp drop in the same proportion.
Dealers said that the business had received a big jolt due to the lockdown and they were not in a position to even pay salaries to the employees after they reported for duty.
“The state government must take initiative and allow pumps on national
highways to remain open till 10 pm,” said a senior office bearer of the dealers’ association. Since vehicles carrying goods normally move during the night, it would be a breather for the pumps to operate till midnight.
The dealers added that while they were taking all precautions at the pumps, people were not turning up, as they did not have any requirement for fuel.