NAMAKKAL: The supply of cooking gas is likely to be affected as LPG tanker operators have launched a strike from Monday protesting the alleged high-handed approach of a major oil marketing company in finalising tenders for transporting cooking gas.
According to N R Karthick, secretary, Southern Region Bulk LPG Transport Owners Association (SRBLPGTOA), “We have stopped loading LPG since Monday morning. We hope the issue would be resolved soon.”
Bullet tankers remained idle at the loading points, including Chennai, Kochi, Vishakapattinam and Bangalore and supply of the cooking gas would take a hit if the strike continued.
Karthick noted that the tanker operators were forced to resort to the agitation as the IOC (Indian Oil Corporation) refused to consider the tender applications of 38 bullet tankers citing unjustifiable reasons.
“It is quite common to commit errors while furnishing details. But the authorities of IOC deliberately rejected the applications of 38 vehicles denying the orders for ferrying gas,” he rued.
The LPG tanker operators have been on a collision course with the oil marketing companies ever since the three year contract lapsed in October last year, industry sources told.
The trouble started after oil firms stoutly refused to accept the request for employing more vehicles to transport LPG.
As a result, the tanker operators were left with no option, but to cut more than 600 tankers from their fleet for submitting tender applications.
According to sources, the office bearers of the SRBLPGTOA struck a deal with the affected tanker owners to provide compensation for them.
When the issued seemed to have settled, the IOC’s act has again triggered tension among the operators.
However, they hoped that the current issue would be resolved as the authorities of IOC called for talks in Chennai today (Tuesday), the sources informed.