Petrol pumps and LPG retail outlets in Bengaluru and other urban areas may have to seek a no objection certificate (NoC) from the oil marketing companies if they wish to close down the business and switch to another activity.
In other words, oil companies too will have to approve any change in land use by the landlord. The urban development department’s circular to this effect to BDA and other authorities in the state follows a letter from the ministry of petroleum and natural gas, which wants retailing of petrol, diesel and LPG to be treated as essential activity.
RULE FOR PUBLIC SECTOR COS
The new rule applies to outlets affiliated to public sector oil marketing companies. The circular does not say anything about the retail outlets of private brands.
The ministry’s letter mentions about steep real estate prices coming in the way of availability of plots for retailing activities. The ministry wants the state to treat these outlets as essential public service, and earmark space for setting up outlets in the local planning area.
DEALERS’ BODY NOT GAME FOR
IT Bangalore Petroleum Dealers Association, however, has expressed anguish at the new NoC rule.
The pumps are closing down, according to association president BR Ravindranath, because the landlords don’t want to renew the lease in view of the poor rentals the PSU oil firms pay. “They want to pay peanuts for the land they get. Instead of making rentals attractive, they come up with irrational rules such as this infringing upon the fundamental rights of citizens,” he said.
The fuel station next to Forum mall in Koramangala, he added, gets a monthly rental of ` . 6,120 for a plot measuring 20,000 sqft while the market rate could be a few lakhs.
“The oil marketing companies are making no efforts to retain the landlords, and as a result, more than a dozen pumps have closed down in the past two years,” the president said.
The Centre has also asked the state to notify the facility as allowable use in all non-residential zones and agriculture zones in the master plan.
The urban development department has also asked the planning authorities to earmark a green belt of 300 m around the petroleum and chemical installations in all new master plans, and implement this if the existing plans already don’t have such a provision.
Going by the circular, the BDA and other urban bodies will now have to earmark exclusive plots to enable public sector oil marketing companies set up petroleum and LPG retail outlets.
The Union government wants the state to revisit the previously-approved master plans and reserve land for fuel outlets by reallocating land reserved for other purposes that are less essential. Josh Ferguson Womens JerseyShare This