Fresh Bout Of Fuel Scarcity Round The Corner As… Fuel Transporters Go On Strike Mode

IMPHAL, Dec 8: yet another round of petroleum products shortage is likely to hit the State as transporters of petroleum and petroleum products have intimated to relevant officials to hike the transportation rate failing which they would be forced to resort to a cease work strike.

A source in the All Manipur Petroleum Products Transporters’ Association told the Sangai Express that the demand for hiking transport charge had already been conveyed to Guwahati-based General Manager of Indian Oil Corporation, IOC‘s State level coordinator, Chief Secretary and the Chief Minister’s Secretariat.

As per an agreement signed between the IOC and the transporters which became effective from October 1, 2007, an amount of Rs 1.57 was fixed as the transport rate for every kilometer of one kilolitre fuel load.

Even though the said agreement lapsed in September this year taking into account fuel shortage crisis faced by the State public, the Association entered into another deal with the Govt of Manipur and IOC authorities under which service was extended at the same rate for a three month period.

The deal will expire on December 31, the source said while adding that under the said agreement IOC was supposed to grant 15 percent increase to the existing rate whereas the State Govt would provide Rs 5000 to each of the vehicle for every trip.

It is also informed that even after addition to the transport rate an operator is left with only about Rs 5000 while ferrying fuel from the NRL (Assam) centre which is inadequate as there is constant need for maintenance of the vehicles.

The source further revealed that Inspite of the tripartite agreement, the State Govt is yet to release the assurance amounts till date.

It further asserted that they are facing the maintenance cost at the current rate which impossible while the profit is marginal and less than price of a single tire. On the other hand, an official of IOC’s Divisional Office informed that the present stock of petrol could last for five days and diesel for three days.

Noting that inspite of queues at fuel outlets getting shorter in the past few days, the situation might not improve further as IOC had not yet planned alternative arrangement in case the transporters decide to go ahead with their agitation.

(Courtesy: The Sangai Express)

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