Manipur: Indian Oil Corporation officials create artificial oil scarcity

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By Paojel Chaoba

 

“The public cannot be harassed, why should there be queues stand in line when there is enough oil reserves to last for 8 days”, Okendro asserted that the matter concerning IOC lack of transparency raised will be addressed at his level best.

Manipur,IMPHAL, July 18: Some officials of the Indian Oil Corporation depot located at Chingmeirong is suspected to be indulging in oil racketeering. The depot Manager one SI Singh is said to conduct favoritism to 3elect clients and manipulate the stock of the depot.

Information culled from petrol transporters state that there is enough stock in the depot to last for 8 days and most of the tankers transporting fuel is given only 4KL for delivery to the pumps against the capacity of 12 KL. Hence, taking advantage of the present scenario, the OIC officers in cahoots with some petrol pump owners are propagating black marketeering and creating artificial scarcity of petrol in the state for their own personal gains.

Petrol Crisis: Women are seen selling petrol in front of IOC Depot at Chingmeirong even though the oil stations in the state are without petrol and diesel.

Many petrol pumps in the city area remained closed down today and the public has been severely handicapped. This comes against the notification of CAF and PD director, one M Yaiskul on July 15, that there will be no dearth of fuel as petrol convoys have been escorted with CRPF personnel to stock up on the IOC depot reserves. Oil trucks have been arriving since July 15 as the Southern Angami Youth Organization (SAYO) called off the 96 hour bandh along NH 2 on July 14. A total of 36 tankers also arrived today.

It may be mentioned that there was no announcement that the depot fuel reserves are low by the concerned IOC officials. Following the series of incidents which started in July 12 , when M/s Ibochou Service Station at Kakwa was set on fire, the artificial scarcity of petrol had started as pumps went on strike. However, after Minister Oken assurance to the petrol owners,fuel was distributed at Kusum pump and PCTC from July 12 onwards, the remaining pumps opened the next day.

To balance reporting and cull information regarding the charges made to the IOC officials, IFP reporter went toChingmeirong depot and find out the stock position and why the pumps remained closed down today.

The identification card was handed to a security person at the entrance and told to intimate SI Singh, depot manager if permission would be given for an audience. SI Singh’s reply given to the guard was, the depot is off limits to the media.

Later, through another bill preparation window, the supply manager Rajbanshi was asked by this reporter if he could give the stock position. Rajbanshi replied that the information should be taken from the retail office located at BT Road. This reporter had already went to BT Road ,IOC office and the concerned official had directed to go to Chingmeirongdepot. Later, Rajbanshi said that he will inquire and rushed out of the office and did not come back.

The information withheld and refusal to entertain the media for information clearly points that clandestine operations are going on inside the IOC depot and the officials are involved.

This comes as a setback to CAF and PD minister endeavor to curb black marketeering and make available fuel to the public , M Okendro had even directed pumps within Imphal East and West district at a round the clock basis which started from June 1. As a result, the petrol black market was gradually disappearing. At present M/s Kusum service station and M/S PCTC service station are catering to the needs of the public, but the supply to these pumps have also been deliberately delayed by the IOC officials.

Minister Oken personally oversaw the fuel distribution at the two outlets today evening. IFP met the minister at Kusum pump and detailed him about the charges alleged on the IOC officials. The supply sheet given by IOC marked that many pumps were given only 4 KL. On this notification, the minister immediately warned SI Singh telephonically and instructed him to give 12 KL to the allotted pumps from tomorrow onwards.

“The public cannot be harassed, why should there be queues stand in line when there is enough oil reserves to last for 8 days”, Okendro asserted that the matter concerning IOC lack of transparency raised will be addressed at his level best.

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