Assam petrol union strike hits Meghalaya

Many petrol pumps in and around the city as well as in other parts of Meghalaya are running dry owing to a three-day strike called by Assam Petroleum Mazdoor Union in the neighbouring state since April 26.

By Rining Lyngdoh in Shilong
  • Published 30.04.18
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Shillong: Many petrol pumps in and around the city as well as in other parts of Meghalaya are running dry owing to a three-day strike called by Assam Petroleum Mazdoor Union in the neighbouring state since April 26.

However, on Sunday, the union called off the strike which it had called to demand higher wages.

According to sources, though the strike has been lifted, the situation is unlikely to get back to normal in the coming days, including on May Day being a holiday on account of Labour Day.

Meghalaya being a hilly land-locked state, is totally dependent on road transport. The state suffered a lot because of frequent strikes called from Assam either by petrol pump workers or tankers' unions in the past.

The strike had paralysed life in the state.

The tankers' unions, dealers and customers sought the state government's intervention and urged them to take note of the situation.

The unions said it is high time that the Meghalaya government take all steps to reopen the closed Umiam depot of the Indian Oil Corporation, which earlier used to keep 30 days buffer stock for the state to meet any crisis.

The matter for reopening of the closed depot was taken up last year by former chief minister Mukul Sangma with Union petroleum minister Dharmendra Pradhan when he had visited Shillong for an official discussion on petroleum supply.

"This is the time for the state government to take up the matter with their Assam counterpart to ensure uninterrupted petroleum and LPG supplies. The government should direct the tanker unions not to stop loading the Meghalaya-based petrol pumps from now on since we are totally dependent on petrol and diesel," a dealer said.

They also urged the government to come out with a notification to put a ban on all strikes in the matter of essential commodities such as petroleum products and LPG.