Millennium Post

HPCL to automate all pumping stations this year

Chennai: With an aim to ensure that right quantity and quality of fuel is dispensed at petrol stations, oil marketing company HPCL would automate all its petrol outlets by December, a top company official said here on Thursday.

The company has about 15,000 outlets across the country and currently 9,000 pump stations have been automated, Hindustan Petroleum Corporation Ltd, Executive Director, TR Sundararaman said.

"Our plan to automate (all the pumping stations) before this December. (By then) all the 15,000 retail outlets of HPCL will be automated. Benefits for the customer is that he gets assurance on the quality and quantity of fuel dispensed," he said at the sidelines of an event here.

Noting that the investments were "not that much" for automating the outlets, he said, "with automation customer will get system generated bill and the exact quantity of fuel dispensed."

"A customer is assured that there is no cheating anywhere. Not that it is happening without automation. But, automation will make it one hundred per cent assured on quantity and quality (of the fuel)," he said.

He claimed that the HPCL was the first oil marketing company to introduce automation in 2003.

Asked whether there would be any kind of layoff in petrol outlets following automation, he replied in the negative saying, there will not be any layoffs since an employee still has to "physically fill" the fuel to customer.

To another query, he said, the company tried "self-service' model at some fuel outlets in Mumbai but discontinued it due to lack of patronage.

"We tried that (concept) in Mumbai. We found that patronage to that initiative was negligible so we discontinued," he said.

Sundararaman was here to unveil co-branded fuel card eN-Dhan in association with city-based commercial vehicle maker Ashok Leyland which is expected to result in annual savings of about Rs 50,000 per annum to customers.

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