Tamil Nadu asks petroleum dealers to function as usual

August 26th, 2008 - 8:55 pm ICT by IANS  

Chennai, Aug 26 (IANS) The Tamil Nadu government Tuesday appealed to the petroleum dealers in the state to change their decision to keep petrol bunks closed on Sundays and after 10 p.m. on week days from Sep 15 due to supply shortage.The appeal was made at a meeting between government officials and representatives of the Tamil Nadu Petroleum Dealers Association (TNPDA) and oil marketing companies. Chief Secretary L.K. Tripathi chaired the meeting, which officials from the state’s department of food and civil supplies also attended.

“The dealers association was told that oil is an essential commodity and petrol bunks have to operate on 24X7 basis,” an official who was present at the meeting told IANS insisting on anonymity.

The oil marketing companies were asked to increase diesel supplies to match the demand so that bunks would not run dry, he added.

Chief Minister M. Karunanidhi has written to the central government for higher allocation of diesel to the state.

The TNPDA, at its general body meeting held in Salem Monday, decided that its member-dealers would not open petrol bunks on Sundays as they don’t get adequate supplies to meet the high demand Monday mornings.

With state suffering from power shortage, many industries and IT companies in Chennai, Tiruvallur, Cuddalore, Kanchipuram, Villupuram and Vellore are now powering their plants and offices with diesel gensets, a move that resulted in a sudden jump in demand for diesel.

According to an official of the state-run Indian Oil Corp Ltd, the demand for diesel has jumped over 30 percent in the last three months, compared to the corresponding period last year.

However, he declined to quantify the demand and supply of diesel in Chennai and its surroundings.

The dealers have long accused the oil companies of deliberately reducing supplies to cut their losses.

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