The indefinite hunger strike launched by the Save FACT Action Committee, highlighting the issues faced by FACT, completed a fortnight. However, there seems to be no favourable approach from the Union Government towards the issues raised by the action council.
‘’After we launched the strike, all that we got is just an assurance by the Chief Minister that he would look into the issue. We got hardly 10 minutes to meet him at the airport.
K P Dhanapalan MP has submitted a memorandum, signed by all MPs, to the Prime Minister, ‘’ said George Thomas, an employee of FACT and activist of the action committee.
The action committee, a joint forum of different trade unions of FACT, launched the strike demanding LNG for FACT at reasonable rate. ‘’ Private and public sector industries under fertilisers, chemical, petrochemical and power sector in other states are getting domestic natural gas at a rate of USD 4.2. They are also provided import LNG at a rate of USD 6.75 to 9.06 for long-term contract and USD 14 for spot LNG. When it comes to Kerala the price of LNG escalate to average price of USD 19 to 24, which is higher,’’ they point out. Union Ministers and MPs from Kerala should intervene in the issue soon’’, he demanded. With the strike continuing indefinitely, the police on February 3 had arrested one volunteer observing hunger strike. P S Murali who started hunger strike a week back was arrested and admitted to a city hospital after his health condition worsened. After the turn of FACT Workers Union vice-president M T Nixon, FACT Employees Union (INTUC) general secretary is observing the hunger strike now.
Various organisation of FACT employees organised rallies announcing support for the agitation by the action committee.
Anticipating the supply of LNG at a fair price from Petronet LNG Limited(PLL) terminal at Vypeen, FACT had converted its plants to LNG fuel, by spending around `60 crore.
The fertiliser company was earlier using Naphtha as fuel.