Fuel supply to state resumes

SHILLONG/ GUWAHATI, Nov 25: A day after chaos erupted in Shillong over the fear of shortage of fuel, the supply of petrol and diesel in the capital and other parts of the state was largely restored by Friday afternoon.
May fuel outlets were running out of petrol by Friday morning but by the afternoon, more than 40 tankers of BPCL, IOC and HPC reached Shillong from Guwahati. They were unloaded at different refilling stations.
On Thursday, the Assam Petroleum Mazdoor Union (APMU) halted the transportation of petroleum products in tankers and trucks to Meghalaya citing previous incidents of attacks. They resumed operations following the assurance of special protection for tanker drivers by the Meghalaya government.
“We decided to resume normal operations after the Meghalaya government on Thursday evening assured us of providing special security in the wake of the situation. We started with a trial run of 12 tankers at 9 am, and about 100 tankers will have reached different oil depots in Meghalaya by dusk,” APMU general secretary Ramen Das told The Shillong Times.
“There is adequate stock now for the next two days,” a petrol pump owner in Shillong said, confirming the normal supply.
All the Shillong-destined oil tankers were brought with police escorts.
On Friday morning, the Meghalaya government directed all the deputy commissioners and superintendents of police to provide adequate security for the smooth passage of fuel tankers and trucks carrying PDS items from Assam in view of the Mukroh firing incident-induced tense situation prevailing in the state.
The district authorities concerned have been asked to take all possible measures for the safe passage of these vehicles so that the state does not face any crisis of fuel and essential items.
The APMU operates over 10,000 oil and gas tankers of three oil marketing companies – IOCL, HPCL and BPCL. These tankers have a minimum capacity of 12 kilolitres and a maximum capacity of 30 kilolitres of petroleum products.
Das said the union’s letter to the oil companies intimating them of its decision to stop the distribution of petroleum products across Ri-Bhoi, Khasi Hills and Jaintia Hills districts was a precautionary move in view of the law-and-order situation in Meghalaya.
“In the past, our drivers have faced security issues whenever a similar crisis occurred. So, we wrote to the oil companies that unless the Meghalaya government takes the onus of providing security to our tanker drivers, we will not load petroleum products for Meghalaya,” the APMU leader said.
Das, however, observed that the “fuel crisis” in Meghalaya was actually created by panic-buying with people anticipating a fuel shortage in view of the APMU’s decision.

Get real time updates directly on your device, subscribe now.

Comments are closed.