SHILLONG: The Government of Meghalaya called a meeting with multiple stakeholders regarding the strike called by the North East Petroleum Mazdoor Union at a Circuit House.
This comes after the North East Petroleum Mazdoor Union wrote to the minister of food and civil supplies voicing its concerns regarding incidents of police atrocities towards the drivers and their helpers of fuel tankers in Meghalaya. The organisation threatened to stop all loading and transportation operations in the state owing to such concerns.
A few days before this letter, the Meghalaya Police had conducted raids on several parts of Nation Highway 6 following complaints filed by the Petroleum Dealers Association of Meghalaya regarding oil theft and other wrongdoings. This action too drew flank from the Union and the same was highlighted in the letter to the minister.
Several stakeholders attended this meeting called by the state government including representatives from the Oil Marketing Companies IOCL, BPCL and HPCL, Petroleum Dealers Association of Meghalaya, Meghalaya Indane Distributors Association and the North East Petroleum Mazdoor Union. Officials from the Ri Bhoi and East Khasi Hills district administrations were also present along with concerned police officials.
Following the meeting Pravin Bakshi, Commissioner & Secretary, Food Civil Supplies and Consumer Affairs, Government of Meghalaya, acknowledged the many issues brought up by NEPMU and conveyed his appreciation for the collaborative environment. Bakshi emphasized the government's dedication to legal rights, fair labour practices, and the necessity of maintaining efficient operations for oil tankers. Additionally, he pleaded that individuals carrying out their duties not be unduly inconvenienced by the ongoing police actions. Bakshi assured NEPMU and other stakeholders of the government's commitment to finding a solution to the relevant problems, pleading with them to reevaluate the strike call. He reassured the public that there is a sufficient supply of oil products and underlined the need to refrain from panic purchasing. He said that the government is actively working to find a comprehensive solution to the difficult problems at hand.
NEPMU's general secretary, Ramen Das, made it clear that the strike had not been started and blamed the misunderstanding on the early public release of the union's letter. Das promised a resolution-signalling message would be out in a short while. He reminded everyone to maintain their composure and pointed out that there are plenty of resources available, including LPG.