The Indian Oil Corporation has asked the Assam government to ensure that Manipur-bound oil tankers are not harassed during transit through Assam.
The IOC plea followed transporters' decision to stop plying on National Highway 39 due to security reason. The last incident saw militants in Assam's Karbi Anglong district firing upon oil tankers and injuring at least six transporters less than a fortnight ago.
NH39 - it starts at Numaligarh in Assam and ends at Moreh on the Manipur-Myanmar border after passing through Nagaland - is prone to blockades and extortion.
Top IOC officers held a meeting with Manipur chief minister Okram Ibobi Singh to discuss highway security and fuel scarcity in Manipur on Sunday. Manipur has been facing acute fuel problem since the two-month highway blockade by United Naga Council mid last year.
The IOC officials included on the oil major's director of marketing GC Daga, general manager (Northeast) A Pandian, deputy GM (LPG-Northeast) AC Sharma, deputy GM (operation) P. Anbalajam and chief retail sale manager Deepak Anand Bharale.
After meeting Singh, the IOC officials appealed to Manipur oil transporters to reconsider their stand of staying off NH 39. This highway, they pointed out, was much more convenient and shorter than NH 53 that links Manipur capital Imphal via southern Assam.
The IOC officials also promised an infrastructure upgrade in order to check Manipur's recurrent fuel crisis.