Oil PSU officers strike now creates a fuel supply crisis for consumers

January 8th, 2009 - 9:34 pm ICT by ANI  

New Delhi, Jan.8 (ANI): The ongoing strike by employees of various oil Public Sector Units (PSUs) has now created a fuel supply crisis in various cities and states.
Sources said that with talks between the Government and representatives of oil PSUs collapsing, the supply of petrol, diesel and liquid petroleum gas (LPG) is likely to run dry by Friday or Saturday.
The news has led to vehicle owners crowding petrol stations to fill up their tanks. Petrol station owners and staff were a harried lot on Thursday, trying to meet the demand of consumers. Some of them shut down operations prematurely to keep consumers at bay. Reports from across the country said petrol pumps were running out of stock, including a few places in New Delhi. Besides aviation-refuelling services were affected due to the absence of officers.
According to the Indian Oil Corporation Chairman Sarthak Behuria, no ice could be broken through talks due to Oil Sector Officiers” Association’’s adamant behaviour.
“We met the Oil Sector Officers Association leadership this morning, but progress could not be made as they were harping on the same issues. We said we can do nothing since a high-level ministerial committee is already looking into it. But they didn”t budge.”
The nation-wide strike has been called to protest against the lower-than-expected increase in pay.
“We have been managing the situation till now, but, there are supply constraints. If the strike continues, we might see dry-outs from tomorrow,” warned Behuria
There was a backlog of domestic LPG supplies in many parts, particularly in the South, as the truckers” stir disrupted supply.
Behuria informed that the problem was due to the inadequate loading at refineries and petrol pumps keeping low inventories in anticipation of fuel price cuts.
The IOC’’s seven refineries were producing only 40 per cent of their output with production being impacted at its key refineries of Panipat and Mathura. Its Koyali refinery in Gujarat was producing only 25 per cent of the normal output, while BPCL’’s Mumbai refinery was operating at 70 per cent of its capacity.
The Government, however, has said that the situation is under control, though it admitted to shortages.(ANI)

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