While Government of India is encouraging the cashless economy, mobile phone usage at the petrol pumps was still a concern. The age-old strict ban on mobile phone usage at the fuel station was hesitating the e-wallet payments at the fuel pumps. Busting the myth, the Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion (DIPP) has given a clean chit to the use of mobile phones at petrol stations.
The government has declared that the use of the mobile phone at the fuel station is absolutely safe. However, one should follow certain usage guidelines. To clarify, the department has advised using the devices at a certain height and distance from the fuel dispensing area of the petrol pumps.
“We want to promote digital transactions and bust any myths about phone use being overtly dangerous at petrol pumps,” a senior government official said.
The ban on mobile phone usage at the petrol pumps was been prohibited due to safety concerns. The probable source of the flammable vapours at the petrol pumps could cause fire and hence the prohibition on mobile phone usage was imposed at the fuel pumps. However, there is no evidence for fire caused due to mobile phone usage at petrol pumps unless there is a spark from the smartphone battery which could perhaps result in an explosion. That’s why the department has advised maintaining a safe distance from the pump while using the mobile phones.
The cashless payments at the petrol pumps gained momentum after it was announced that the old denominated Rs 500 notes would not be accepted as a valid currency at petrol pumps. The government also allowed the customers to withdraw the sum of Rs 2,000 at the petrol pumps by swiping their debit cards through the point of sale machines. And hence, various petroleum dealer associations had asked for the use of mobile phones at the fuel stations.
The DIPP, through its Petroleum and Explosives Safety Organisation (PESO), has clarified that it has no objection to the use of mobile e-wallets/point of sales (POS) terminals beyond the hazardous area in the region of petroleum dispensers. PESO has further said that the use of such payment options should be avoided while fueling the vehicle. It declared the hazardous area (Zone 1) around the dispenser.