NE dealers defer plan to impose indefinite fuel depot shutdown by a week

Association sets terms during meeting with Kamrup Metro DC

 

Guwahati, May 13: The North East India Petroleum Dealers’ Association (Greater Guwahati Unit) has conditionally agreed to defer its plan to indefinitely close all petrol depots within its jurisdiction by a week, following a request by the Kamrup Metro district administration during an emergent meeting held here on Friday afternoon.

 

The association had earlier threatened an indefinite closure of all petrol depots from 5am of May 16 next if the oil companies fail to meet its demand for redressal of the problems arising out of cancellation of load delivery and short delivery of fuel.

 

According to the terms set by the association to defer the indefinite shutdown of fuel depots, “the reasons for cancellation of load at the terminal (TOP) must be assigned to the dealer also, informing as to whether the next load has been sent as per indent.”

 

“The TOP should not send load to any other retail outlet before the cancelled load is sent as per indent. Company officials must report to the deputy commissioner the reason for the non delivery. The dealer should not suffer due to the lapse of the terminal,” the association’s president Rajib Goswami said in a statement issued after the meeting.

 

“Short delivery must be recorded at the retail outlet and acknowledgement of the driver of the concerned tank truck that witnesses such short delivery should be held to be proof of the same. The amount should be credited to the SAP account of the concerned dealer. In case the driver of the tank truck of the dealer/dealer-transporter carrying load shows that short delivery is detected, the tank truck official must be bound to fill the truck as per the dip rod duly calibrated by the legal metrology officials. No dealer shall pay trip allowance to the tank truck crew on the above account,” Goswami said.

 

“As per the facilities provided by the oil company, the terminal should operate two shifts and the dealer should be at liberty to send indent even in the evening as per their convenience. The terminal officials should disclose the working hours before the DC and the dealers for business convenience of all as the terminal usually remains closed after 4pm. The dealer should be allowed access to the parking area of the terminal,” he said.

 

The association’s president further stated that officials have found discrepancies in loading, recording shortage of products to the tune of two litres per 2000 litres and also 4.5 litres per 2000 litres in another loading point. “These anomalies should be removed at the earliest,” he said.

 

The association further demanded that the DC should constitute a terminal monitoring committee headed by a magistrate to monitor any anomaly at the terminal comprising representatives of the legal metrology department, food, civil supplies and consumer affairs department, police administration and the North East India Petroleum Dealers’ Association.

 

Meanwhile, a 24-hour closure of petrol pumps in the greater Guwahati area was imposed by the association from 5am on Friday in protest against problems faced by retailers arising out of cancellation of load delivery and short delivery of fuel.

 

The oil depot shutdown caused immense difficulty to both public and private vehicle owners amid incessant rain in the morning hours and subsequent water-logging in various areas of the city, prompting many to even make queues for refilling their vehicle tanks in oil depots in Khanapara (Meghalaya).

 

The association however resolved to continue the 24-hour fuel depot shutdown till 5am on Saturday.

 

The association had on Thursday demanded a high-level vigilance probe into the alleged “unlawful trade practices” by oil companies in the form of arbitrary cancellation of load delivery and short delivery of fuel at retail outlets by transporters.

 

“We would also like to inform all concerned that the association has resolved to take up the matter to foil such corruption through a high-level independent vigilance inquiry as it is ultimately the hard-earned money of the taxpayers that has been siphoned off,” Goswami said.

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