Agartala: In a bid to create awareness about social distancing and personal protection from the COVID-19 pandemic, petrol pumps across Tripura have decided to refuse refilling of fuel to those not wearing face covers or masks.
In one such instance, a petrol pump in the Radhanagar area of state capital Agartala has pasted placards which read ‘No Mask-No Petrol’ on their fuel dispensers.
Speaking with reporters, Debabrata Ghosh, the manage of the fuel station, said that the decision came as a precautionary measure and also to respect the decision of the Centre and the state government which have made wearing of masks compulsory in public places.
He also said that the government has announced wearing of masks compulsory in public places and washing hands frequently. Maintaining social distancing is also important in this time of the pandemic.
“The virus is spreading across the world and no vaccine has been found to prevent the disease. This initiative will force people to wear masks when they are out in public places. Whoever visits the petrol pumps without a mask will not be given petrol,” Ghosh said.
Meanwhile, the All India Petroleum Dealers’ Association (AIPDA), which has nearly 85% of total dealers registered with them, has also launched a campaign asking all its members to place ‘No Mask, No Fuel’ initiatives to the customers.
Similarly, states like Maharashtra and West Bengal have placed such placards across the state in all petrol pumps to sensitise the masses against the spread of COVID-19.
Earlier, a letter issued by the office of the chief secretary informed, “It is widely accepted that use of face covers/masks, whether homemade or others, help in breaking the transmission chain of COVID-19 and containment of the spread of this pandemic.”
The letter also cited that the national directives for COVID-19 management issued by the ministry of home affairs on Wednesday informed that wearing of face covers is compulsory in all public places as well as workplaces.
The vehicles visiting the pump were seen standing in queues maintaining social distance.