Srinagar: Hearing a public interest litigation (PIL), the J&K High Court on Tuesday issued notices to the central and state governments, and also to nationalised oil companies, for filing response on where they and the Government of India are planning to set up new 65,000 new petrol outlets in the country and 632 new petrol outlets in J&K state.
A division bench of Justice Ali Mohammad Magrey and Justice Sanjeev Kumar issued the notices to Government of India through Secretary, Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Gas, and to the Petroleum and Natural Gas Regulatory Board through its Secretary, to the Indian Oil Corporation through its Managing Director, to the Bharat Petroleum through its Chairman, and to Hindustan Petroleum Corporation through its Chairman.
The notice was also issued to the Divisional Managers, Territorial Managers and Deputy Managers of these corporations at their Jammu office. Response was also sought from J&K State through its Commissioner/ Secretary, Revenue Department.
Also, 31 Deputy Commissioners of J&K State were directed to file their response by March 26, 2019.
The fresh litigation was moved by the All J&K Peoples Welfare Organisation through its chairman, Muzaffar Ahmed Khan.
The petitioner organisation had challenged the manner in which respondents, namely Indian Oil Corporation, Bharat Petroleum and Hindustan Petroleum Corporation, without carrying out any survey had issued advertisements in local newspapers last year for setting up 632 petrol outlets.
“The said number is more than the existing outlets,” the petitioner informed the J&K High Court.
The petition stated that the respondents had not followed norms and guidelines passed from time to time in view of setting up of petrol outlets.
Furthermore, the litigation cautioned that given the ecology of J&K State, setting up of new petrol outlets was against the interests of people at large, the environment, land use, fruit industry, horticulture, and agriculture industry.
“We are inviting more pollution to our state by setting up these outlets,” the petitioner organisation argued.
The petitioner organisation pleaded before the court that the setting up of these outlets and the advertisements thereof be declared illegal, arbitrary, contrary to law, and against interests of people at large.
The petitioner organisation also pleaded that Deputy Commissioners of all districts in J&K State be restrained from giving permission or granting NOC for setting up of these petrol outlets.