Digital money gets the better of safety at petrol pumps
Kannur: The Joint Chief Controller of Explosives has passed an order scaling down the safety precautions at the petrol pumps in the state following demands of digitisation.
In what has been criticised as a dangerous decision, the regulation regarding the usage of mobile phones in petrol pumps have been eased. Earlier mobile phone usage was banned inside a distance of six metres from the dispensing machines. Now the distance has been reduced to 45 centimetres and the height to 1.2 meters.
There has been mounting pressure on the petrol pumps to enable digital payments. To enable the use of e-wallets and POS machines the restrictions on usage of mobiles will necessarily have to be eased. According to the 102nd regulation in the Petroleum rules, 2002 there must be no electronic machines or wires anywhere near a site where petroleum is being filled, stored or dispensed.
The rule also states that any place where there is liquid or vapour fuel is susceptible to a fire. Regulation 105 of the same set of rules authorises the Chief Controller of Explosives to make changes in this regulation. Even though the distance has been reduced no actions and precautions have been taken to reduce the chances of an accident.
The batteries used in POS machines and mobile phones can lead to an electromagnetic spark which may cause an explosion. Even though rather unlikely even mobile phone radiations can pose a fire threat depending upon weather conditions.