No dearth of petroleum products and rice: Oken

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IMPHAL, August 20: Consumer Affairs, Food and Public Distribution minister M Oken appeals to the public to avoid panic buying of petroleum products.

Clarifying in regard to a news item carried by a local news channel yesterday, Oken asserted that there is no dearth of petroleum products in the state.

The minister was accompanied by Indian Oil Corporation officials and transport association representatives at a press meet held at the minister’s office at Babupara.

He mentioned that the situation of scarcity of petrol was created post attacks carried out by strikers between Mao and Senapati on August 16 and the refusal of transporters to carry out their task unless the issue was resolved.

Talks between the transporters namely All Manipur Petroleum Tankers and Drivers Association and minister M Okendra was held at on August 18 and arrived at a positive conclusion.

A cabinet meet held on the said date also resolved to bear the damages caused to the trucks and further to coordinate effective security measure among the escort CRPF and state police to safeguard the truck convoys arriving via NH 2.

Fitting compensation would also be awarded to the injured drivers. The funds for the said measures will be deducted from the development funds meant for the areas of Mao and Senapati, the minister said.

It was further mentioned that after the understanding among the truckers and the state government, the work to ferry fuel to the petrol pumps began from Sunday onwards and a total of 76 kilolitres of Petrol and 100 Kilolitres of Diesel was allocated to some selected pumps. However, there would be normal supply from today onwards, the minister assured.

“We have a buffer stock of petrol for 17 days, 20 days for Diesel and 65 days for rice, we have ample stock and there is no need for the public to be panicky”, Okendro added that the State government has been taking up initiative to make petrol around the clock and two pumps are presently catering to the service since June 21.

He further mentioned that the government is gearing up to provide home delivery service of cooking gas by September /October and work is afoot to scrutinize the actual consumers.

The minister appealed that whatever the wants of the public and the civil organizations, a conclusion can be brought by deliberations and stated that transport drivers should not be targeted.

At the press meet there was also a discussion among the media and the IOC representatives. The latter maintained that the pump owners are not timely in tendering the paperwork to lift fuel from the IOC depot at Chingmeirong.

KI Singh, state level co-ordinator stated that if the public has any complaints regarding the company’s working, he can be approached at his IOC office located at BT Road.

It was highlighted by the media present that whenever there is any sign of blockade or strikes along the highways, the pumps remain shut down with ample fuel in stock and taking advantage to encourage black marketeering.

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