The Director of Food Civil Supplies and Consumer Affairs, Meghalaya, Pravin Bakshi (IAS), on November 24 wrote to the Assam Petroleum Mazdoor Union ensuring them of protection and security while transporting petroleum, oil and lubricant products to the state.
The letter comes in the wake of the Assam Petroleum Mazdoor Union stating that it will stop the transport of petroleum products to the state of Meghalaya as their truck drivers are being targeted by miscreants in the aftermath of the Mukroh shooting incident.
Taking note of this, the director of Food Civil Supplies and Consumer Affairs issued a notification which cited that all Deputy Commissioners and Superintendents of Police of the districts of the state have been informed to take all necessary measures for safety and security of POL vehicles plying through the districts of Meghalaya.
The notification also requested the Assam Petroleum Mazdoor Union to take back its decision not to transport petroleum products to Meghalaya, and to make necessary arrangements for manpower so that the supply to the state is not affected in any way.
In a note to the Deputy Commissioners of the state, Bakshi requested that immediate and effective measures be taken for the safety and security of trucks and tankers transporting petroleum products through districts of the state. He also asked for further arrangements to be made for patrolling and providing police escort wherever it is deemed required, so as to ensure the smooth movement of all tankers and trucks carrying essential commodities.
Bakshi further requested that the situation be monitored and to ensure that sufficient buffer stock is available at all petrol pumps.
Earlier in the day, there had been panic buying of fuel in Meghalaya following the notification from the Assam Petroleum Mazdoor Union, with its general secretary, Ramen Das, stating that the drivers do not feel safe plying fuel tankers to the neighbouring state. Following the announcement, the movement of oil tankers to East Khasi Hills district, West Khasi Hills district, Jaintia Hills district and Ri-Bhoi district were stopped on November 24.
Notably, over 100 oil tankers of three oil marketing companies – Indian Oil Corporation Ltd (Indian Oil), Hindustan Petroleum Co Ltd (HPCL) and Bharat Petroleum Co Ltd (BPCL) ply between Guwahati and Meghalaya regularly.