The Patna Petroleum Dealers Association (PPDA), on Thursday, threatened an indefinite strike of petrol pumps in Patna district unless the state administration takes effective steps to prevent frequent incidence of robberies on their premises.
If the association carries out its threat, around 200 petrol pumps in the district will stop serving customers. But it says it won’t stop at that. “We will begin our indefinite strike with Patna district and gradually extend it to the rest of Bihar unless remedial measures are taken,” said PPDA president Brajendra Kumar Sinha.
He said that there were eight incidents of robbery by armed goons at petrol pumps in Patna during the past six months. “What we got from the police authorities was just verbal assurances. This is indirectly encouraging the miscreants. This has forced us to consider the extreme step of an indefinite strike,” Singh said.
According to Sinha, in the eight incidents during the last six months, a total sum of Rs 20 lakh was taken away. He said that before going for an indefinite strike, the association would hold some preliminary protests.
“The first of these will be a token black out period when no pump will sell petrol or diesel for 15 minutes from 8pm to 8.15pm on March 23 and for 30 minutes, from 8pm to 8.30pm, on March 28. The second protest gesture will be stopping of night services at all petrol pumps in Patna district,” he said.
According to Sinha, petrol pump employees were afraid to work at night, following the recent incidents of robbery. “In such a situation, we will be forced to stop night services,” he added.