Shillong: The impasse at the Assam-Meghalaya border following the Mukroh killings is now threatening the fuel supply in Meghalaya, with the Assam Petroleum Mazdoor Union deciding to halt fuel supply to Meghalaya until the state government guarantees their safety.
Following the announcement by the Mazdoor Union, people resorted to panic buying, with many struggling to fill their tanks on Thursday. However, the Deputy Commissioner of East Khasi Hills assured the public that there is no fuel shortage.
Some petrol pumps remained closed on Thursday as tankers meant to resupply them could not come through, while those stations that have fuel witnessed long queues of vehicles looking to fill up.
A petrol pump owner said the Assam Petroleum Mazdoor Union’s decision to halt the fuel supply would be called off, and people should not worry about the fuel supply.
“The concerns being expressed by oil companies, distributors, tanker drivers from outside the state are being addressed to ensure that petroleum supplies reach the district and the public does not suffer,” the DC said in a press release.
Ashok Jain, manager of a petrol pump at Dhankheti, said his last tanker came yesterday, and there was no supply today, though they still had reserve and could serve customers.
Another Shillong resident said he had gone to three petrol pumps before he found fuel.
Pressure groups urged fuel suppliers not to halt delivery as this would only create problems for Meghalaya citizens.
Reacting to the claims of fuel shortage, West Garo Hills (WGH) deputy commissioner Swapnil Tembe also urged Tura residents to not panic about buying petrol and diesel.
“We urge all residents to not panic buy petrol and diesel stock. All the necessary security arrangements for the smooth movement of oil tankers have been assured by the government and shall be ensured by the district administration and police,” said the post by the DC.
He added that the supply department was keeping a close watch on the stock and the administration would ensure continuous availability of fuel.
The Hynñiewtrep Integrated Territorial Organisation asked the Assam Petroleum Mazdoor Union not to hold a grudge against individuals, especially from other Northeast states.
“If the Meghalaya government assures that all the security concerns will be addressed, the normal delivery of fuel will continue. I assure you that we will leave no stone unturned for the smooth functioning of all fuel-related businesses for fuel stations across the state,” a HITO leader told the suppliers’ group.
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