With the change of guard in Punjab as Congress formed government in the state, issue of ferrying products in open-body trucks from Guru Gobind Singh Refinery in Rama Mandi has resurfaced with movement of such vehicles being obstructed by some politically-influential transporters.
A delegation of refinery officials had met Bathinda deputy commissioner Diprava Lakra few days back to apprise him about the situation. Sources revealed that refinery officials told the administration about how ferrying of products such as sulphur, pet coke and polypropylene (PP) is being affected due to stopping of trucks engaged in transportation.
During SAD-BJP government’s tenure, Rama Mandi Truck Operators’ Union was controlled by Akali men. The issue of stopping the trucks allegedly by this union had affected the operations in last July and August as well. The refinery officials had complained to district administration then as well demanding to register a case against Rama Mandi truck union for allegedly threatening the transporters and not allowing them to enter the refinery premises to lift the petroleum products.
However, the truck union’s control has now gone in the hands of Congress leaders. A clash was also witnessed between two groups of Congress supporters over controlling the truck union in March, soon after the formation of new government.
A refinery official on condition of anonymity said that entire refinery operations are being affected due to stopping of trucks’ movement from the refinery and administration has been informed about the situation.
A Congress-backed transporter, who owes allegiance to the group opposite to the one controlling truck union now, said that what had happened during SAD-BJP government is being repeated again by not letting trucks to ferry the products.
Meanwhile, Lakra said that steps are being taken to resolve the issue. “The problem pertains to ferrying of products in open-body trucks only. The transportation work is going on now and a meeting with the refinery officials is scheduled on Monday to discuss further in this regard,” he added.