The Punjab and Haryana high court has issued notice to state government on a plea from Punjab Petroleum Dealers Association challenging demand of ‘road access fee’ by the state.
The plea challenged notices being slapped by the public works department for recovery from the existing old petrol pumps on the basis of a January 2019 notification. They claim, oil companies are to pay the said fee not the petrol pump owners.
The plea further said demand notices say non-payment would lead to immediate de-energizing of the petrol pumps. Even the Oil companies have approached the state government stating that the decision would affect the viability of the petrol pumps. But without waiting or examining or even issuing any show cause notices, straightaway multiple demand notices have been issued to all the petrol pumps threatening them to de-energize and cancel their NOCs, the plea said.
Last month, the government had directed public works department to expedite the process of recovery of road access fee from commercial properties including pumps. Following this, petrol pump dealers were being slapped with notices for payment of the same by the department.
The high court has sought response from the state by October 27, after state’s counsel assured the court that no coercive steps would be taken against the petrol pump dealers.