State back on road as oil strike ends

The people of Gujarat heaved a sigh of relief,as the Oil Sector Officers' Association called off its nationwide strike on late Friday evening.

Written by Express News Service | Vadodara | Published:January 10, 2009 3:52 am

The people of Gujarat heaved a sigh of relief,as the Oil Sector Officers’ Association (OSOA) called off its nationwide strike on late Friday evening.

The strike had already fizzled out after Bharat Petroleum Corporation Limited (BPCL) employees decided to end their agitation this afternoon,which was the third day of the stir.

State’s fuel stations had already started getting supplies of petrol and diesel as soon as the BPCL employees withdrew from the strike in the afternoon.

There are nearly 1,700 retail petrol pumps in Gujarat,of which 50 per cent are with IOC and rest with BPCL,HPCL and other players. All of the BPCL and HPCL petrol pumps will get their supplies by Saturday evening,petrol pump dealers said. Apart from that,Essar has around 20 fuel stations,which were functioning without any disruption.

Only Ahmedabad retail outlets that get Euro-III petrol from the Sabarmati installation of IOC,may have to wait a little longer.

“We got our supplies around 3 pm from the Siddhpur installation. We are hopeful that regular supplies will begin from tomorrow,” said Kiran Patel,president of the Federation of Gujarat Petroleum Dealers’ Association (FGPDA) and a petrol pump owner in Mehsana.

Availablity of CNG was not a problem for the stations getting their supplies from the Gujarat State Petroleum Corporation (GSPC). Only the ones that were getting it from GAIL were affected. CNG was also available at Adani stations.

Earlier in the day,Rajan Pillai,president,Association of Scientific and Technical Officers,ONGC,Delhi,had said they would not withdraw their strike till their demands were met. “In a meeting with the petroleum minister,we asked for our five demands to be met. However,after the Cabinet meeting,we came to know that none of our demands were considered,” he said.

Most of the 500 industrial units using gas remained closed on the third day of the strike. These industries use gas supplied by Gujarat Gas,which in turn gets it from GAIL,ONGC and IOC. “The closed units will start working from tomorrow,” said Atul Buch,president Ankleshwar Industrial Estate Association.

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