Credit: Representational image

Guwahati: To protest against alleged harassment by oil companies, members of the Greater Guwahati unit of North East India Petroleum Dealers Association (NEIPDA) have announced an indefinite shutdown of petrol pumps in Greater Guwahati from September 7.

“During these testing times when the government and even the Courts have made relaxation owing to the community spread of the pandemic, we regret inform you that the oil companies have continued to harass dealers on various issues,” said the dealers association in a statement.

The petrol pumps in the greater Guwahati region are to remain shut from Monday, September 7.

The association for petrol dealers in the region has accused Bharat Petroleum Corporation Limited (BPCL) of harassing a fellow dealer, Ellora Debi, a proprietor of RRND Service Station, Beltola, Guwahati.

“Time and again BPCL is forcing her to sign the dealership agreement. They even threatened to stop supply of petrol and diesel if she fails to sign the agreement by August 31,” said the association in the statement mentioning the alleged harassment.

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Elaborating on the plight of Ellora Debi, president of the Greater Guwahati unit of NEIPDA, Rajib Goswami said, “BPCL pressured her to go to court to draft the agreement. As a result, she got COVID19 positive. Subsequently, her husband, who is a heart patient, also contracted COVID infection. In the meantime, BPCL has stopped supply of petrol and diesel to the RRND Service Station from August 31.”

Goswami has also claimed to have approached the deputy commissioner of Kamrup requesting intervention on the issue.

“We have been working risking the lives of our workers, including their family members amid the pandemic,” said the association emphasising on the challenges and their service for ensuring uniform supply of petrol and diesel.

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The NEIPDA unit in Guwahati further added that they have incurred heavy financial losses since the lockdown in March and such harassment by the companies will further push them to the brink.

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