Tanker drivers demand white paper on use of welfare fund

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IMPHAL, Sept 9: Wary over the utilization of welfare funds of the drivers, tanker drivers engaged in the transportation petroleum products have asked Bhupenchandra Gosh, president of All Manipur Petroleum Tankers Drivers Union to produce a white paper on the position of the welfare fund of the union within seven days.

A press meet was held in this connection at Manipur Press Club today.

Speaking to media persons, a tanker driver, N. Chaoba stated that the activities of the union’s president have left the members doubtful over the maintenance of welfare fund.

Chaoba further alleged that the union has been collecting Rs. 50 per tanker on duty on the pretext raising welfare funds for the transporters.

It has been informed that there are about 600 tankers affiliated to the union and the collected funds are meant to be used as financial aid for transporters in desperate need like accident and fatality.

In addition to that, a sum of  Rs. 100 to 200 is also collected from each driver as a financial help to fellow transporters in case of fatality, he said adding that the members are not informed about the position of their funds or how it has been used till date.

N. Chaoba further disclosed that the union members have become wary recently when they learned that Gosh received a sum of Rs. 50,000 from the Chief Minister Okram Ibobi Singh as financial assistance for the injured drivers during blockade called by Sadar Hills Districthood Demand Committee.

Naorem Bishorchandra alias Naocha of Moirang, tanker driver, revealed that he was injured in an attack of the Sadar hills blockade supporters at Kanglatombi and hospitalized at Shija hospital with critical injuries however he did not received any financial assistance from the union while he was in the hospital.

He came to know of the financial assistance from the CM only when some of its senior member of the union contacted him whether he received the money.

He received a sum of 20,000 rupees from after 10 days when he was discharged from hospital through one of the trucks owners handed over by Gosh.

Another senior member of the union said Gosh handed over the money following a verbal complaint lodge to the Lamphel Police.

The members gathered today have asked Gosh to produce a white paper on the records of welfares funds within seven days failing which it warned to resign from the union.

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