Government orders seizure of LPG cylinder carriers
By Express News Service | Published: 14th September 2013 08:29 AM |
The government has ordered confiscation of LPG cylinder carriers, as no settlement was reached between LPG cylinder transporters and workers of the Indian Oil Corporation’s (IOC) refilling plant at Paripally,in the talks held here on Friday.
The reconciliation talks were convened by Labour Minister Shibu Baby John for the second time in two days.
Chief Minister Oommen Chandy issued orders to confiscate the LPG cylinder carriers invoking the provisions of the Essential Services Maintenance Act (ESMA). “The Transport Commissioner has been directed to seize the vehicles so as to ensure LPG cylinder supplies,” Labour Minister Shibu Baby John told Express. “The government is toying with the idea of giving an Onam bonus of Rs 10,000 to drivers and half the amount to the cleaners of LPG cylinder carriers, and along with the seizure of vehicles,their services will also be ensured,” the Minister said.
He said the transporters were putting blocks in arriving at a settlement.
“Transporters are not ready to pay even the amount given as bonus last year as advance,pending a final settlement.It cannot be approved,” he said.
In the talks held on Thursday itself,the government had fixed the bonus for drivers and cleaners, apart from Rs 2,500 for loading and unloading workers, while transporters abstained from the meet. LPG cylinder refilling in the Paripally plant had been held up for the past five days owing to the strike launched by the crew of carriers being operated by private transporters.
Consumers have been hit hard in the districts of Thiruvananthapuram and Kollam in toto, and partially in the districts of Alappuzha and Pathanamthitta, where supplies from the Paripally IOC plant are released.
The heavy demand for LPG cylinders during the Onam season has compounded the issue.
IOC to Ensure Alternate LPG Supplies During Onam: Tharoor Minister of State for HRD Shashi Tharoor said that he had spoken to R S Butola, chairman, Indian Oil Corporation, to ensure adequate supply of cylinders, if necessary, even through arrangement by alternate supplies, during Onam season.
“LPG scarcity is being faced by several districts including Thiruvananthapuram due to the strike of contract workers at the IOC plant in Parippally,” he said.
IOC chairman had assured that immediate steps would be taken to resume supply to Thiruvananthapuram from the company’s Madurai plant.