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1.5 Lakh Northeast LPG Customers Face Crisis Amid Transporters Strike

The two leading associations of truck owners and workers have started an indefinite strike demanding an increase in ferrying charges from the IOCL.

The Northeast is staring at an LPG crisis with transporters of cooking gas cylinders and workers in the region starting an indefinite strike on Monday demanding an increase in ferrying charges from the Indian Oil Corporation Limited (IOCL).

More than 1.5 lakh customers could be affected daily if the strike, called by two leading associations of truck owners and workers, continues, according to EastMojo.

The eight bottling plants spread across three states, Sarpara, North Guwahati, Bongaigaon, Gopanary, Duliajan and Silchar in Assam, Dimapur in Nagaland and Sekmai in Manipur, will be affected, the North East Packed LPG Transporters Association, told The Times of India.

The association had written letters to other transporters associations and LPG distributors of the region seeking cooperation in the strike.

“We are running the trucks at the 2011 tender rate. Now, the latest tender rate has been revised and technically brought down by 5% a trip according to the IOCL decision. Under such a rate, it is impossible to run the trucks in view of the rise in fuel price and other maintenance costs,” association president told The Times of India.

Earlier on Sunday, an office-bearer of the association told EastMojo that the demands of the transporters “weren’t fulfilled despite several tripartite meetings in the last four years”. “The IOCL’s apathy has compelled us to stage an indefinite strike from July 25. We regret any inconvenience caused to consumers owing to shortage of LPG cylinders as a result of the strike,” he said.

The association had informed state food and civil supplies minister Ranjeet Kumar Dass of the strike via a letter. “The Indian Oil corporation authority had cancelled the previous tender for carrying LPG cylinders in response to a direction from the office of the Union petroleum ministry. Thereafter, the IOCL authority invited us at various places on different dates to find out ways to address the issue,” the letter read.

“However, the IOCL authority without addressing the problem suddenly floated a fresh tender notice against various LPG bottling plants. Such a move from the IOCL authority has compelled us to go for non-cooperation,” the association further wrote.

On July 14, the association had requested the IOCL to cancel the fresh tender notice. “However, till date, nothing has been done from their end. As a result, a resolution of non-cooperation has been passed in our meeting,” the letter stated. “Accordingly, the non-cooperation would commence at all the bottling plants of IOCL in the region from July 25, 2022.”

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