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Fuel crisis hits Kolkata, Howrah

Petrol pumps are going dry following the indefinite strike by West Bengal Tankers Association which enters the sixth day.

india Updated: Jan 30, 2007 11:19 IST
Press Trust of India
Press Trust of India

The city and its adjoining districts were in the grip of a serious fuel crisis with petrol pumps going dry following the indefinite strike by West Bengal Tankers Association which entered the sixth day on Tuesday.

Most petrol pumps in the metropolis and adjoining North and South 24-Parganas besides Howrah and Hooghly districts have put up 'no stock' boards.

"The pumps have gone dry due to lack of supply of petro products by the striking tankers Association. Oil companies have the responsibility to supply fuel to our pumps, but they have failed to resolve the problem. The people are suffering," Tushar Kanti Sen, President, West Bengal Petroleum Dealers Association said.

Chief Minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee's intervention has been sought to end the crisis, Sen said.

Both Joint Council of Bus Syndicate and Bengal Bus Syndicate said the majority of the private buses were off the roads due to non-availability of diesel.

Oil industry sources said the best rate had been offered to the Tankers' Association, but it was not accepted.

"It is not possible for the oil companies to accept the demand of the striking Association and we have informed the Transport minister Subhas Chakraborty of our stand," said Indian Oil Corporation Genenral Manager Gautam Dutta who is also the state-level Coordinator of the oil companies.

He said that stock of aviation fuel at the airport set to run out in five days.

However, an internal meeting of the oil companies is due to take place on Tuesday where a positive decision is likely to be taken, Dutta says.

A meeting convened by the Transport ministeronMondayhad failed to resolve the problem.

First Published: Jan 30, 2007 10:15 IST