IMPHAL, February 3: The Transporters’ and Drivers’ Council is fully prepared to file a Public Interest Litigation in the High Court against the Indian Oil Corporation for `fooling` lakhs of people of the state by creating an artificial scarcity of petroleum products at their own whims, said the council president H Ranjit this evening.
He was briefing media persons this evening at the MG Avenue office of the Council.
Speaking further, he expressed that the IOC has no authority to restrict the distribution of the needed quantity of petroleum products for the people of the state.
There is also no law of the country restricting the provision of petroleum products to the state up to a certain quantity, he added.
He further said that due to the inability of the NRL to have a bigger oil depot at its disposal, whenever a bandh or blockade is called in the state, their consumers go back to the IOC.
He also added there is no recognizing of who is the authority for the transportation of petroleum products in the state.
Alleging that the IOC has been playing around regarding the matter of stock of petroleum products in the state , he urged the state Chief Minister to intervene and ensure that once the tankers unload the load at the oil pumps, they are set off at the earliest for their next load uptake.
“Unless this is ensured, then the state will continue to reel under petroleum product scarcity,” he continued.
He further appealed to the Chief Minister to ensure that loaded trucks are not stationed at the Inter State Bus Terminus turning the tankers into storage tanks.
“The authorities should use the National Highway 37 regularly for the transportation of petroleum products,” he continued.
Stating that whenever there is any blockade or bandh on the highways, the FCI employed transport contractors of the Dimapur-Ukhrul, Dimapur-Sangaiprou and Jiribam-Sangaiprou route appointed by the FCI face difficulties while going to Dimapur FCI regional office for their required paperwork, the council president further urged the concerned authorities to open a FCI Regional Office only for the state at Imphal instead of the one at Dimapur.
He further urged the authorities to pressurise the Chief Minister for the establishment of a FCI regional office at Imphal at the earliest.
On the other hand, he said the Border Road Organisation’s claim that due to the failure of the Ministry of Road Transport and Highways to provide funds in time has affected works along the Imphal-Jiri Highway is a deliberate act to humiliate the state government during the upcoming BCIM car rally.
Questioning the claim of the BRO, he said after maintaining a stoic silence on the issue in the past, the BRO has claimed now when the rally is approaching nearer that there is lack of funds.
He said if in case the BRO had informed the state government about the lack of funds earlier, the state government could have pressured the centre to sanction the required funds.
He also demanded appropriate action against the BRO for the failure to inform the matter in time.