GUWAHATI: With more than 1200 trucks across Northeast and 400 in North Guwahati alone being parked on the road following the indefinite strike resorted to by the Northeast (Packed) LPG Transporters’ Association, an acute crisis of LPG cylinders is apparently looming over the region.
Notably, since September 9, the association had stopped transporting of cylinders to the LPG agencies across the Northeast in protest against the alleged alterations in the terms and conditions of the tendering process. Allegedly, this had led to the subsequent reduction of profit margin by 20 percent. Moreover, the Association further alleged that the shifting of the operations of the IOCL head office from Guwahati to Kolkata also causing much trouble to the transporters.
A source of the Transporters’ Association revealed that discussions held between the representatives of the Association and IOCL authorities here on Tuesday and Wednesday evening failed to bring about a consensus following which the Association decided to continue the stir. “We are compelled to resort to agitation in the wake of a conspiracy to shift the marketing office at Noonmati to Kolkata,” the Association said. Eventually, work in at least six LPG cylinder bottling plants in Assam and a few others across the Northeast came to a halt.
“We believe that the IOCL authorities here are conspiring against us as not only have they shifted operations to Kolkata but floated tenders at a rate which is 20 per cent below the previous rate thereby lowering the amount to Rs 6300 per trip from Rs 7500. We are demanding that they raise the rate by 50 per cent,” the Association said.
The Association also alleged, “Besides, the IOCL authorities are planning to provide transportation facilities to the LPG agencies which would leave us in the lurch,” he said.
The cease-work is bound to create an acute scarcity of cooking gas across the region in the coming days. As it is, gas agencies here did not have any cylinder deliveries on Wednesday.
It must be mention here that the Association ferries close to 22,000 LPG cylinders in Guwahati alone every day. Meghalaya too has been affected with about 16,000 cylinders supplied by 50 trucks to gas agencies in Shillong and Tura by the association every day.