PARADIP: The indefinite stir by hundreds of oil tanker drivers on Thursday brought petroleum supply to different retail outlets of the State to a halt. The agitators are protesting the illegal termination of an oil tanker driver after a spat with an employee of Indian Oil Corporation Limited (IOCL).
As many as 500 tankers went off the road and sources said IOCL retail outlets may go dry by evening if the situation is not brought under control.
On Wednesday night, driver of an oil tanker Biswaranjan Nath had a heated exchange with an IOCL employee over loading of excess petrol. The IOCL staff allegedly misbehaved with Nath which led to an unpleasant situation at the IOCL terminal here. Following the incident, the IOCL authorities also refused to engage the tanker in fuel transportation. Leaders of the drivers’ association Ram Chandra Yadav and Anam Parida said the move to suspend the oil tanker and terminate Nath is illegal. ‘’No action has been taken against the IOCL employee, who was involved in the incident. We will intensify the stir if our demands, including engagement of the tanker and its driver in fuel transportation, are not met soon,’’ they threatened.
A senior official of IOCL terminal said, ‘‘The agitation has hit the supply of petrol and diesel to different fuel stations of the State. Nearly 748 fuel pumps have been affected by the stir. Steps are being taken to defuse the situation and restore normalcy.’’
Truck owners gherao Lakhanpur project officer
Jharsuguda: Members of Maa Samalei Truck Owners’ Association gheraoed the project officer of Lakhanpur area of MCL on Wednesday over loading issues. Headed by association secretary Santosh Mohanty, more than 225 truck owners staged protest before the office of the project officer. They alleged that for the last few months, the open cast mines under MCL Lakhanpur area are transporting coal by rail which has affected the truck owners, who are facing difficulties to repay loans taken to purchase the vehicles. The project officer has assured that the problems of the truck owners will be solved in three days.