Steering-off stir Petrol pumps run dry, State short of fuel


E-Front-isolated-petrol-pumps-at-imphal-city-7IMPHAL, Aug 30 : After the All Manipur Petroleum Tankers Drivers’ Union launched an indefinite steering-off stir following injuries inflicted on drivers and damage of nine oil tankers by blockade supporters along NH-2, all petrol pumps across the State capital wore a deserted look as none of the station was opened.
It may be mentioned that around 100 oil and LPG bullet tankers were escorted by a CRPF convoy from Khatkhatti on August 28. After reaching Mao, the convoy was joined by around 200 goods laden trucks.
Due to excessive number of trucks and limited CRPF team, some drivers sustained injuries and nine tankers were damaged as a large number of blockade supporters rained stones and slingshot projectiles on the vehicles between Mao and Mayangkhang.
Earlier, the State Government and IOC agreed to provide separate security escorts to oil and LPG bullet tankers. Due to the stir, Chingmeirong oil depot stopped operating from 10.30 am yesterday, said a source.
After the indefinite steering-off stir kicked off today, all the petrol pumps remained closed. Capitalizing on the prevailing situation, black marketers were seen selling petrol at exorbitant prices in different parts of the city.
It may be noted that the State has had terrible experience of artificial scarcity of petroleum products due to frequent bandhs and blockades along the National Highways called by different civil society organizations based in the hill districts.
With the steering-off stir launched by the union, the State may again face severe scarcity of petroleum products in the coming days. On the other hand, representatives of All Manipur Petroleum Tankers Drivers’ Union, IOC officials, CAF and PD Minister, Chief Secretary and DPG had a joint meeting this evening wherein the union was urged by the State officials to suspend the stir. The meeting, however, could not bring any decisive  resolution. The union held a meeting later in the evening to discuss the course of agitation. It resolved to meet Chief Minister O Ibobi Singh tomorrow at 9.30 am.
In case the meeting with the Chief Minister fails to bring any concrete solution, the union will continue the steering-off stir.


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