Bulk LPG transport tankers have stopped supplying liquefied petroleum gas to bottling plants from today in the eastern and southern regions, as they began a strike to protest against new rules on tenders. Indian Oil Corporation, an LPG major in the east, said the impact could be "partial" if the strike continues, though talks are on with protesters to sort out differences. "We have started observing strike from today in the eastern and southern region. North and Western regions are also likely to join soon," the Bulk LPG Transport Contractors Association (Eastern India) executive committee member, Bhupinder Gujral told PTI. "If all four regions begin strike, then 22,000 LPG tankers will get off the roads.
In the eastern region, 4,000 tankers ply to feed 32-33 bottling plants," he said. Gujral said stocks with the bottling plants vary between two and four days. The strike call was in the wake of new tender rules for the LPG tank trucks by the OMCs, and the protesters demanded preference clause for trucks' registration be removed from new tenders. "The major concern is earlier the tender was floated zone-wise. The eastern zone comprised West Bengal, Orissa, Bihar and Jharkhand. But now, they have floated it state-wise and stated 'preference' will be given to tankers registered in the specific state. This is not acceptable to us," Gujral said. Oil marketing companies (OMCs) have not called any meeting with the association so far, he said. Indian Oil Corporation spokesperson (eastern region) Alok Kumar Singh said even if the strike continues for long, the impact will be limited as it has JVs for several pipeline-fed LPG bottling plants in Haldia, Barauni, Balasore and Jhasugoda. Almost 95 per cent of the eastern region tankers are registered in Nagaland. "We will ramp up bottling in these plants to meet the demand," Singh said. There are total of 13 bottling plant in the eastern region for three OMCs.
(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)