Petrol pumps to go dry in Meghalaya

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Shillong, Jul 27 (UNI) Petrol pumps in four districts of Meghalaya will go dry from tomorrow after the Hynniewtrep Petroleum Workers' Union (HPWU) announced its indefinite strike.

''We have decided to go for an indefinite strike in Khasi and Jaintia Hills districts of the state to protest the new system of indent letters introduced by Indian Oil Corporation (IOC),'' HPWU General Secretary J Manih told UNI here today.

The indefinite strike, however, will not affect the other three districts of Garo Hills in the western area of the state.

Under the new system, the IOC instructed oil tanker drivers to set off at 0900 hrs from Umiam depot in order to load petrol from ToP (Tap of Point) at Betkuchi in Assam and then proceed to Umiam for changing challans to complete the formalities at the depot, Mr Manih said.

''No oil tanker driver in India can complete changing the indent letters from one state to another state before stipulated time due to the long to-and-fro journey Shillong (Meghalaya) to Guwahati in Assam in a day,'' he said.

''We are forced to take this drastic step to mount pressure on IOC officials to withdraw the new system in the interest of oil-tanker drivers,'' Mr Manih said, while threatening that the HPWU would continue until the oil giant met his Union's demand.

Meanwhile, long queues were seen in front of petrol pumps, even as the government was yet to deal with the matter.

UNI RRK SB AE AS1735

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