Tamil Nadu: LPG tanker lorry owners' strike enters fourth day

NAMAKKAL: The indefinite strike by the LPG tanker lorry owners in Tamil Nadu entered the fourth day on Thursday with no response from the State and Central governments so far on their demands.

The decision by the ‘Southern Region Bulk LPG Transport Owners Association’ who commenced their strike on Monday, primarily demanding to give up state-level tenders for rental tanker lorries to distribute cooking gas cylinders and also to continue with existing system of floating regional level tenders by the public sector oil companies, has resulted in about 4,200 tankers lorries not operating for the last four days.

Following their strike, transportation of about 18,000 tonnes of cooking gas from treatment plants to bottling units has been affected on a daily basis. Since it is likely to hit cooking gas supply for households and other consumers, officials from public sector oil companies convened talks with representatives of tanker lorry association on Wednesday night at Mumbai.

However, officials refused to accept the demands, since change in tender system was a policy decision of the Central government. Officials also did not assure any solution to the various issues submitted by the tanker lorry owners. Disappointed by it, the tanker lorry owners, whose base is Namakkal, have decided to continue the strike.

Following a meeting with members of the association in Namakkal on Thursday, their president, M Ponnambalam, said, “though we are not convinced at the talks, we are in a situation of having to accept the new tender system. However, we are demanding cancellation of submission of tenders by those who do not own lorries and to ensure a stable rental basis system. Only after the oil companies accept these two demands, we can operate our lorries.” Hence, the Association has decided to continue with their strike.

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