Bhopal: Disaster awaiting as gap between roads, fuel stations shrinks

Have the authorities ensured that sufficient buffer space is maintained between the road and fuel station to possibly avert any fire mishap turning into grave as it may take into its fold commuters on adjacent thoroughfare? The one word answer is NO. A quick glance at the petrol stations in the city laid bare the truth.

At most of the pumps, fuel dispensing machines are installed adjacent to the main roads. Just tossing off a burning cigarette butt by any motorist commuting on road adjacent to fuel station may turn disastrous.

The fuel stations though ensure that firefighting equipment like extinguishers sand buckets and other safety measures are at place; however when it comes to ensuring required buffer space between dispensing machines and main roads, the clause has been sacrificed at many pumps here.

Fuel stations like Nanke Petrol Pump (New Market), Filmore(New Market), gas station near Kilol Park, the one located at Gandhi Medical College (Royal Market) are the classic examples where the safety norm has been compromised. Petrol pump located on road leading to Vardhman Hospital from Jinsy too falls under this category.

In 2009, an oil tanker had caught fire at Nanke Petrol pump, however timely action averted major mishap. Huge fire had engulfed the fuel station nut luckily only two person sustained burns in the incident. The fire had damaged the petrol pump roof and three two-wheelers and a dispensing machine.

When the shrinking gap between road and fuel pumps was brought to the notice of oil companies’ officials, they defending said roads in the city are being widened and so they have come closer to the petrol pumps.

The fuel stations where the dispensing machines are close to roads are old ones , otherwise at new petrol pumps, otherwise, there is set ruling to leave sufficient space and margin between roads and dispensing machines, they said adding that all rules regarding fire safety are being followed.

Collector Tarun Pithode said administration will take first hand ground report of such fuel stations and then take action accordingly. Installation of fuel dispensing machines close to road is dangerous, he added.

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