Many pumps have also put up a sign board stating “No Change”.

Petrol pumps accept Rs 500 Rs 1000 notes but confusion ensues
news Demonetisation Wednesday, November 09, 2016 - 14:15

A day after the Indian government said that petrol pumps could accept the demonetised Rs 500 and Rs 1000 notes, petrol pumps across the country witnessed a huge rush on Wednesday morning. 

As serpentine queues formed outside the fuel stations, employees at several pumps have been struggling to deal with the influx of customers, especially those demanding change. 

In a move to regulate flow of black money, the Modi government on Tuesday announced that from November 9, Rs 500 and Rs 1000 notes will be illegal tender.

It added that Rs 500 and Rs 1000 currency notes will however be accepted at CNG gas stations, petrol pumps, government hospitals among others for 72 hours starting Wednesday. 

While petrol pumps are accepting the demonetised notes, they have informed customers that the denominations will only be accepted on a bill of Rs 500 or Rs 1000. 

Rajan, a staff at a petrol pump near CMS school near Swaraj Round in Thrissur says that they have asked the customers to fill fuel for Rs 500 or for Rs 1000.

"Initially we did pay them the balance amount but soon we ran out of smaller denominations. A lot of people are paying by cash, because they need to somehow spend it and petrol pumps seems to be the only place where they are accepted now. Some people are also paying by card," he said.

Many pumps have also put up a sign board stating “No Change”.  

Shobha Muthanna, who manages Bharat petrol pump at HSR Layout, said that there have been hundreds of people at the pump since 6 am. 

“Before they enter the pump, we are stopping them are asking them what is the amount they want to fill for. We only let them in if they say that they want to fill for Rs 500 or Rs 1000. Many have been fighting and demanding change. In case they want to fill fuel in their vehicles for only Rs 300, they could bring an empty bottle to fill fuel for the remaining Rs 200,” she said. 

Since most fuel stations accept card payments, it has not been much of a hassle otherwise. 

Customers too have had to face certain inconveniences. 

Rahmathulla Sheriff, who is an auto rickshaw driver in Bengaluru, told The News Minute that after waiting for over an hour at the fuel station, he came back without filling any fuel. 

“I was there for more than an hour to fill gas for Rs 200 and I had change. But the crowd was overflowing and I was getting bookings already. I was accepting bookings to shorter distances and only after making sure the customers could give me change. Since I was getting some bookings I didn’t want to miss out on them,” he said. 

The situation at the Bharat petrol pump near Jeevanbheemanagar police station in Bengaluru turned sour when an employee claimed that he did not have change for Rs 500 or Rs 1000 that led to a fight between auto drivers and the employees. 

An auto rickshaw driver who was at the scene claimed that the petrol pump employees are being partial to people who want to fill fuel for larger amounts.

"These people (the employees) are not accepting the notes (Rs 500 and Rs 1000) from people who want to fill fuel for less than Rs 500. They are shelling out change to those who are filling up their tank completely. It is either that or fill fuel for the said amounts. We are auto drivers and poor. We cannot afford to do that," said Nandakumar.

The situation, however, was quite opposite at the Indian Oil petrol pump at Domlur in Bengaluru. The employees there were ensuring that no customer went unsatisfied. 

"The government's move has been a good one and we want to do our part to make sure that there is no confusion or chaos. People will end up giving only Rs 500 or Rs 1000 since the news broke. If we do not ensure that they get the right change, they will feel that we are cheating them. We are supposed to ensure that such situations do not arise. We are trying to do our job right," said Siddalinga, an employee at the pump.


With inputs from Aditi Mallick, Megha Varier, Sarayu Srinivasan and Theja Ram.


Show us some love and support our journalism by becoming a TNM Member - Click here.