LPG scarcity looms in NE; transporters call indefinite strike from July 25
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Guwahati: The North East Packed LPG Transporters Association has called for an indefinite “non-cooperation” from Monday with as many as seven LPG bottling plants set to remain shut from Monday.

The bottling plants include North Guwahati, Sarpara (Kamrup), Gopanari (Tinsukia), Bongaigaon, Dimapur, Silchar, and Duliajan.

“Several tripartite meetings have been held over the past four years, but our demands have not been fulfilled. The apathy of the IOCL authorities 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,” an office-bearer of the association informed EastMojo on Sunday.

The association, through a letter to the Assam food and civil supplies minister Ranjeet Kumar Dass, had informed the state government about the strike, which has been called over the non-fulfillment of long-pending demands of the association.

“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. 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 stated in the letter to the minister.

The association, on July 14, 2022, requested the IOCL authority not to proceed with the fresh tender notice but to cancel it. “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 association stated.

“Accordingly, the non-cooperation would commence at all the bottling plants of IOCL in the region from July 25, 2022,” it said.

The association has also written letters to the bulk transporters’ associations and LPG distributors of the region, seeking cooperation and support in favour of the call for an indefinite non-cooperation from Monday.

There are nine bottling plants in the Northeast that distribute about 2 lakh cylinders every day. However, two of them are non-functional at present.

Amid the price rise of essentials, consumers now may have to face shortage of LPG cylinders in the wake of the transporters’ strike from Monday.

Sources said that over 1.5 lakh customers could be affected each day if the strike goes on for a longer period and LPG stocks dry up across the retail outlets. 

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