80 fuel stations in Ludhiana district run dry as transporters go on strike
Amid the chaos and panic, some commuters were seen filling the fuel tanks of their vehicles to full capacity to stock up.
Around 80 petrol pumps of Hindustan Petroleum Corporation Limited (HPCL) in the city ran dry on Friday, following a three-day long strike by Punjab Tankers’ Union, who have been demanding a hike in transportation charges.
The strike was called off in the evening after prolonged negotiations between the members of HPCL and PTU.
Members of the tankers’ union had not been allowing dealer-cum-transporters to procure petrol and diesel from the oil refinery at Bathinda and two other oil depots from Jalandhar and Sangrur for the last three days. The transporters resumed transportation only after HPCL officials assured to arrange a meeting with top management over the issue.
Vishal Seth, sales manager of HPCL (Ludhiana) said, “A meeting has been fixed between representatives of the tankers union and company’s management next week and the final decision on the matter is likely to be taken there.” There are around 900 outlets of HPCL in the state.
Since the last two days, petrol pumps had been running on buffer stock. Most of them ran dry by Friday morning. There were a few fuel filling stations that were serving petrol till afternoon but these too ran dry, forcing commuters to go to other petrol pumps.
Amid the chaos and panic, some commuters were seen filling the fuel tanks of their vehicles to full capacity to stock up. Hemant Gupta, a consumer, said, “I had planned to fill the fuel tank of my car in the first week of next month. But as some petrol pumps in the city are running dry, I decided to get it filled to its full capacity to be on the safer side. You never know if other petrol pumps in the city also stop selling fuel.”
Rohit Mehra, a petrol pump dealer near Bharatnagar, said, “We did not receive the supply of petrol/diesel for the past two days. Our buffer stocks got exhausted due to which we were are forced to turn away our customers. The strike has caused a huge loss to our business.”
Current rates of transportation : Rs 1.20 per kilometre
What transporters are demanding: Above Rs 2.00 per kilometre
The rates fixed by Indian Oil Corporation: Rs 2.72 per kilometres