Truck owners in TN picket petrol bunks

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Chennai, Jun 27 (UNI) Truck owners in Tamil Nadu today picketed petrol pump stations in the state protesting against ''the oil companies' decision to make available only high speed petrol and diesel.'' About 100 people, led by Truck Owners Association president R Sukumar, were arrested when they attempted to picket a petrol bunk in the city.

The agitators raised slogans against the Centre and demanded that the state government take steps to ensure that the oil companies made available ordinary petrol and diesel.

They said after the Centre hiked fuel prices on June 5, the oil companies, adding to woes, dispensed with the sale of ordinary petrol and diesel.

Though the Centre hiked the price of petrol by Rs 5 and diesel by Rs 3, consumers in the state, especially in towns, were paying Rs 3 to Rs 5 more (in addition to the hike) for the fuel as the pumping stations ''made available'' only ''value added'' diesel and petrol.

Consumers were forced to buy the high speed petrol and diesel as they had no option. The Indian Oil Corporation (IOC) was the first to introduce the system, followed by other oil companies.

Hindustan Petroleum was initially making available ordinary petrol and diesel, but it too fell in line with other companies.

Voicing concern of the public, former Chief Minister and AIADMK general secretary J Jayalalithaa had sought the intervention of Central and state governments to ensure the availability of ordinary petrol and diesel, but there was no action from their side so far.

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