Oil tanker drivers go on indefinite strike in Siliguri
Oil tanker drivers in Siliguri region of West Bengal are on an indefinite strike over the detention of a fellow driver in Bhutan.
Consequently, petrol pumps are on the verge of running dry.
Around 450 drivers are participating in the strike called by members of Indian National Trinamool Trade Union Congress (INTTUC), the labour union of the party ruling the state.
Speaking to reporters on Thursday, Bijan Nandi, Secretary of INTTUC, said they would not back out until the detained driver is released.
"We are observing the strike because around nine months back one of our fellow driver has met with an accident in Bhutan. He had returned back to India and surrendered himself in the police station. But after three months when we went to Bhutan, he was arrested by their police and his tanker was also detained and till now there is no news about him. After all this incident, our drivers fear to ply the oil tankers," said Nandi.
Meanwhile, the deadlock has resulted in acute shortage of petrol and diesel across the city, leaving locals in distress.
Om Prakash Gidra, the owner of a petrol pump, said most of the petrol pumps have run out of the fuel.
"All the products are dry. We had run out of petrol yesterday evening and diesel in today morning around 8.30 a.m. People are facing lot of problems as they are not getting petrol anywhere in the city as all petrol pumps are drying up," said Gidra.
An angry local, Nurul Hassain, said they are facing lot of difficulties while commuting as the petrol pumps are running short of fuel.
"We are wandering here and there but we are getting petrol. We don't the reason behind the shortage. My vehicle has run out of petrol and now we will have to drag this to home," said Hussain.
As per the tentative reports, Siliguri terminal distributes 2400 kilolitre of petrol on daily basis in entire northern area of West Bengal and to the neighbouring countries of Nepal and Bhutan.