Highway model filling stations on card
By Syed Shukur Ali Shuvo
DHAKA, Sept 23, 2021 (BSS) - The government has undertaken an initiative to introduce international standard petrol pumps having modern facility across the country, said an official familiar with the process.
"For this, the government wants to implement the concept of 'Highway Model Filling Station' all over the country and reduce the number filling stations having no modern facility as well as reputation," the official added.
He said the country's socio-economic development, business viability and inter-country road network facilities have encouraged the government to set up the model filling stations.
Talking to BSS, state minister for power, energy and mineral resources Nasrul Hamid said the government has decided to implement an integrated initiative during the birth centenary of Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman and the golden jubilee of independence.
"Under visionary leader Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, the size of our economy is getting bigger since 2009 for tremendous success in all sectors especially energy, power, ICT, infrastructure, industrialization, export, diplomacy and health," he said, adding highways are being upgraded from two lanes to four lanes and expressways and elevated expressways are being constructed in the country.
The ministry conducted a survey and found the new concept of setting up model filling stations on highways, said Joint Secretary of the Ministry Dr Moh Sher Ali. He said that the survey was conducted following various criticisms and allegations against petrol pumps across the country and the government took the initiative to introduce model filling stations on the basis of the survey.
"The survey reveals serious and mysterious information, which shows that 62% of pumps cannot make profit by selling diesel, octane and petrol and they (petrol pumps) are facing loss," Dr Sher Ali said.
According to the survey, conventional petrol pumps are selling adulterated oil and manipulating weight, while model filing stations like developed world will be able to make profit by selling fuel and providing other vehicles and customers related services.
Some one and a half to two acres of land will be required for establishing a model petrol pump beside the highway, which will have all facilities and services including office room, rest room for drivers, restaurant, stationery shop, washing facility, ATM booth, prayers room, owners' room, facilities for physically challenged persons, mobile phone charging point, water body and self dealing system, it said.
Besides, lubricant storage, medical unit space, firefighting system, battery change-charging and tyre pumping facilities will have to ensure at the model filling stations along with shed for some 22 vehicles refueling facility at a time.
The proposed model filling stations will have octane storage capacity of 18,000 liters, petrol storage capacity of 13,000 liters and the total storage capacity of the two high speed diesel storage tanks at 60,000 liters and auto gas (LPG) capacity at 20,000 liters. It will also have 13 private cars, 20 buses and trucks parking facilities along with four battery-powered car charging systems.
The joint secretary said the survey also revealed that fresh rooms of conventional petrol pumps are very dirty and no refreshment system, while women, children and elderly are in trouble there.
He said the survey revealed that accidents and incidents occurred as drivers do not have rest arrangements in the pumps.
A design is also made accordingly to the international standard filling stations and entrepreneurs will be able to set up pumps at a cost of Taka 12 to 15 crore, which will ensure all kinds of facilities.
Bangladesh is about to enter the era of South Asia and Trans Asian Highway and BBIN agreements have been signed among India, Nepal, Bhutan and Bangladesh. India, Nepal and Bhutan have agreed to use Bangladeshi ports of Chattogram and Mongla. As a result, pumps should be of international standard and designed was prepared as of the developed countries.
Dr Sher Ali, however, said on the occasion of Mujib Borsho, Bangladesh Petroleum Corporation (BPC) has taken initiative to build model filling stations across the country and only five work orders were issued to set up model filling stations across the country.