Northeast LPG transporters call off strike

Govt asks IOC to review association’s demands

GUWAHATI: LPG consumers in the region can heave a sigh of relief with the Northeast (Packed) LPG Transporters’ Association ending their cease-work after six days in the wake of a “positive” tripartite meeting with the Assam government and Indian Oil Corporation Ltd on Wednesday.

The association has been demanding transfer of the office of tender submission from Kolkata to Guwahati besides opposing the decision to bring down fares from the existing rate by up to 25 per cent, which affected their profit margins.

“We had a tripartite meeting today and the state government directed the IOC authorities to take necessary steps to resolve the issue at the earliest after reviewing the entire matter. A formal communication was sent to the IOC by the secretary, state food, civil supplies and consumer affairs department today, requesting extension of date of tender up to April 30, 2019,” Jayanta Nath, the president of the association, told The Shillong Times on Wednesday.

The minister (in-charge), food, civil supplies and consumer affairs department, in his reply to a question during Zero Hour in the Assam Assembly on Wednesday assured that necessary steps would be taken for extension of the date of tender by three months in the interest of LPG consumers.

Things had come to a stalemate after veteran AGP leader, Phani Bhusan Choudhury who was earlier in talks with the association, stepped down as the food and civil supplies minister recently. The association members had a series of discussions with higher officials of the department in the past few days but in vain.

“There was no loading of refills by the transporters at the LPG bottling plants located in North Guwahati, Charpara in Kamrup district, Gopanari in Tinsukia district and Bongaigaon in the past six days, affecting supplies in many areas,” Nath said.

Of the 11 LPG cylinder bottling plants across the Northeast, six are in Assam.

Trucks under the association ferry close to 22,000 LPG cylinders in Guwahati alone daily while about 16,000 cylinders are supplied to Shillong and Tura every day.

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