By Our Reporter
SHILLONG, Nov 29: The state government has called for a meeting with the North East Petroleum Mazdoor Union (NEPMU) on November 29 at Nongpoh to resolve issues, including alleged harassment of oil tanker drivers by Meghalaya Police personnel.
The decision on the proposed meeting comes a day after NEPMU threatened to stop the supply of petroleum products to the state from November 29.
Food, Civil Supplies & Consumer Affairs Minister Comingone Ymbon on Tuesday said after he had received a letter from the Union, he asked his officers to coordinate a meeting in Shillong.
However, he added, as the members of the Union did not want to come to Shillong, the meeting has been scheduled at Nongpoh. Discussions will be held in the presence of senior officials of the administration of East Khasi Hills and Ri-Bhoi districts, he said.
The Minister exuded confidence that the issues will be resolved amicably and asked people not to panic. He made the assurance after the representatives of Petroleum Dealers’ Association of Meghalaya (PDAM) had met Deputy Chief Minister Prestone Tynsong.
Ymbon said the people of the state will not suffer. He said fuel will reach Meghalaya and if required, police escorts will be provided from the point of origin till the destination.
He outlined the government’s contingency plan in the event of shortage, stating that Deputy Commissioners of all districts will be advised to regulate the sales of petroleum products to individuals to ensure equitable distribution.
The PDAM also asked people not to panic. Kennedy Khyriem, who is its president, said they have stock that will last 3-4 days.
‘Action against OC if found guilty’
Meghalaya Police detected some vehicles bearing fake registration numbers. The vehicles allegedly belong to Amit Sinha, who is the Officer-in-Charge (OC) of Byrnihat Police Station.
Deputy Inspector General of Police (ER) DNR Marak said the matter is being investigated. He promised that action would be initiated if the probe establishes anything against Sinha.
Earlier, he was accused of having a nexus with coal traders. A couple of NGOs had also demanded an investigation into his activities.
Asked about NEPMU’s harassment charge, Marak said action was taken based on an FIR filed by PDAM. He also said that petrol pump retailers are running into huge losses due to theft and adulteration of fuel.