The government has a monopoly on the import and distribution of petroleum in Bangladesh
Whether it is the development of high-speed pavements or roadside improvements, investment in road infrastructure is always seen as crucial for the economic development of any nation.
While highways strengthen a country’s road network by facilitating the smooth and rapid movement of goods and people from one place to another, wayside amenities such as rest areas for drivers and commuters help promote road safety by limiting accidents caused by incessant driving.
Like developed countries like the United States and Australia, Bangladesh is also poised to market its highways as a global brand by setting up what it claims to be model refueling stations with rest areas. more elegant to accommodate motorists looking for a break from the road.
According to Minister of State for Energy, Energy and Mineral Resources Nasrul Hamid, the initiative comes at a time when the government is developing several high-speed corridors across Bangladesh, including the Dhaka-Highway. Khulna.
âThese model refueling stations will be set up on at least 2.5 acres of land along highways across the country. These stations will have gasoline, diesel, CNG and LPG filling facilities as well as electric vehicle charging points, âa senior official from the Energy and Mineral Resources Division told UNB.
“But the main attraction of these refueling stations would be modern facilities for motorway drivers and passengers, such as separate dormitories for men and women, toilets, ATMs, cafeteria, parking and a hall. of prayer, âhe added.
Motorists and commuters can use the dorms at night for a small fee, the official said.
“An investment of at least Tk 15 crore is required to set up a model refueling station,” said Mir Saifullah Al Khaled, managing director of Meghna Petroleum Limited, a subsidiary of the state-owned Bangladesh Petroleum Corporation (BPC). .
At present, officials said, there are around 5,200 gas stations in Bangladesh. Of these, only 550 have CNG charging facilities. However, most of these stations even lack basic facilities like toilets for drivers and passengers.
Official sources said that on May 30, the Energy and Mineral Resources Division of the Department of Energy, Energy and Mineral Resources sent its latest letter to BPC and its three marketing companies. of petroleum: Padma Oil, Meghna Petroleum and Jamuna Oil – in regards.
Import monopoly, petroleum distribution
The government has a monopoly on the import and distribution of petroleum in Bangladesh. And BPC is the main public entity responsible for the same.
In its letter, the Division asked BPC and its three subsidiaries not to allow the installation of new gasoline pumps in the country until a policy directive is prepared and all other statutory compliances are met. .
BPC and its three subsidiaries were also asked to prepare a detailed plan on the needs of new refueling stations by analyzing the GPS locations of existing stations.
The Division said that although there are certain conditions for installing gasoline pumps in urban enterprise areas, upazilas and districts as well as at bus stations, ferries and highways, there are no basic layout model to ensure modern equipment.
“It is therefore necessary to prepare three separate layout plans for the model refueling stations,” the Division said in its letter.
Mr Sher Ali, deputy secretary (operations) at the Energy and Mineral Resources Division, said the BPC and its marketing companies have already submitted a set of guidelines and layout plans for the model refueling stations proposed.
“The Energy and Mineral Resources Division has also approved the guidelines and land use plans, and now they’re working on it,” he told UNB.
According to the general manager of Padma Oil Masudur Rahman, his company is working on three separate development plans for the installation of new petrol pumps on the highways, in neighborhoods and corporate areas of the city, and at the level of upazila.
âAs per the highway plan, 2.5 acres of land is the minimum requirement for setting up a model refueling station with all modern amenities,â he added.
Mir Saifullah-Al-Khaled, chief executive of Meghna Petroleum, said permission had already been given for the establishment of a few model refueling stations on the highways.
âThe construction of some model refueling stations is already in full swing. Sitakunda on the Dhaka-Chittagong highway, Dhaka-Sylhet highway and Hatikumrul on the Dhaka-North Bengal highway are among the areas where model station development is underway. ” he added.
Bangladesh Gasoline Pump Owners Association President Nazmul Haque welcomed this ambitious initiative, but urged the government to heed its views on the matter “because we are also a part vital stakeholder â.