Oil pumps in the state are shut down totally as the All Manipur Petrol Pump Dealers Association couldn’t get a formal apology from the Consumers Affairs, Food and Public Distribution Director for making false allegations of hoarding against two oil pumps.
The association cautioned to tender apology for the false allegation through media. It submitted a memorandum to the chief minister Nongthombam Biren Singh cautioning to close all oil pumps in the state.
The memorandum stated that the director CAF and PD made false allegations through news media on May 5 against Jas Gas station and Uripok Energy station.
A team led by the director conducted a surprise raid at Jas Gas station on the morning of May 4 where he claimed that 10KL of petrol and 12KL of (HSD) diesel were found in stock in the underground tanks despite the ‘petrol nil’ sign put up in front of the gas station and alleged the pump was hoarding stock meant for distribution to the public.
The memorandum stated that IOC issued 10KL of petrol to Jas Gas agency on May 3 in split loads with another 10KL of petrol meant for Kanhai and Sons of Thoubal in a 20KL tanker truck from IOC Malom Depot. The tanker first went to Thoubal to supply and then reached Jas Gas station at around 10.30 pm and the timing forced the tanker to be decanted or unloaded the next day at around 7.30 am.
The decanting process normally takes around one hour for the slush present at the bottom of the underground tank to settle. The petrol nil sign is usually displayed during such times to stop customers from disturbing the pump attendants during their decanting work, mentioned the memorandum.
When the director visited Uripok Energy station, the staff informed the officials that the pump had 3.4 KL of diesel and 1.7 KL of petrol including dead stock and that the consumable quantity of petrol over and above the dead stock was reserved for supply to Government offices and for use by the dealer’s tankers.
The association had given an ultimatum to the director to clarify through news media on or before May 7. It urged the chief minister to intervene and to settle the issue at the earliest so as to avoid unwanted incidents.
Black marketers were seen in front of the oil pumps and along the road sides in Imphal. People have to depend on these black marketers at a higher price as high as Rs. 100.
We have faced oil scarcity many times due to blockades, but this time we are facing the problem created by strike by the oil retailers, said a person who came to fetch petrol at Khoyathong. People want a quick solution to this problem, added the person.