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Fuel tankers not to join strike

Petroleum dealers will not take part in the indefinite truckers’ South India strike that began on March 30. Tamil Nadu Petroleum Dealers Association (TNPDA) State President KP Murali ruled out the claims made by the South India Motor Transport Association (SIMTA) a couple of days ago that petroleum tankers would also take part in the strike from Saturday (April 1).

Fuel tankers not to join strike
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“Nobody invited us to take part in the strike. We are not taking part in it. The public need not panic,” he told DTNext. He said that there are close to 4,600 fuel stations in Tamil Nadu and the dealers own 2,500 stations have tankers to bring fuel from the oil refineries. “Nearly 1,300 of them don’t have tankers. But part of a consortium get fuel supplied by other dealers,” he said. 

This leaves only 750 fuel stations getting the stock supplied by private contractors. “But the private contractors and dealers are on good terms, due to which the operators would not take a stand to stall operations and take part in the strike,” he said. Murali, who is also the South India vice-president of the Consortium of Indian Petroleum Dealers, said that petroleum dealers in other South Indian States are not taking part in the strike. 

On the other hand, TNPDA’s executive committee meeting will be held at Trichy on Sunday but the strike would not be discussed there. 

Fuel holidays 

The key issue to be discussed at the meeting will be Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s statement in his recent ‘Mann Ki Baat’ in which he made an appeal to the public to stop purchasing fuel on any one day a week. “As Modi said, it will play an important role in nation building. Though it was only a preliminary announcement, petroleum dealers will discuss the issue and the pros and cons if a weekly holiday for fuel stations comes to effect,” Murali said.

Oil companies 

One of the key issues to be discussed at the meeting would be the further course of action to be taken on the three major oil companies for not fulfilling the promises to petroleum dealers. On November 4, 2016, executive directors of the oil companies signed an agreement with petroleum dealers to fulfill 11 demands before December 31. 

“Only one has been fulfilled. We will decide on a future course of action at the meeting on Sunday,” he concluded.

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