TODAY -

Contrary to Centre's instruction...Only 8 fuel pumps opened in Manipur
Source: The Sangai Express

Imphal, April 16 2020: Even as the Centre has instructed all fuel/gas stations to open during the lockdown, only eight have been opening in the State for about 6 hours daily.

And this has caused inconveniences to many who are engaged in delivering essential services, said officials of IOCL (Indian Oil Corporation Limited) today.

Manipur has a total of 103 fuel stations.

77 are of IOCL while 26 are of BPCL (Bharat Petroleum Corporation Limited) .



Only 8 fuel pumps opened in Manipur
Only 8 fuel pumps opened in Manipur


With limited number of stations opened for merely six hours a day, people are being forced to throw social distancing out of the window and form long queues.

Moreover, this has also encouraged black marketers to sell petrol and diesel at inflated prices, said the officials.

Now, black marketers are selling petrol at Rs 150 per litre and people engaged in essential services and those who have emergency situations are being forced to buy them.

Farmers who employ engines and other machinery in their farms are being forced to buy fuel at inflated rate due to limited number of stations opened and limited hours provided, the officials said.

Further, with all Kishan Seva Kendra (KSK) pumps closed, the officials said that filling fuel in vehicles only has caused inconveniences to many farmers who need to operate water pump sets to water their farms/fields.

Not giving/filling fuel in jerry cans means they are not getting any fuel to run water pump sets.

With no options left, they are being forced to buy the fuel they need from the black marketers, they said.

Neighbouring Assam has more than 400 fuel stations and all are functioning during the lockdown.

Sikkim has 19 stations and all are functioning.

West Bengal has 1146 and 1144 are functioning daily.

Andaman has 15 and all are functioning, they said adding opening of all stations in the State for longer hours would discourage illegal sale.

If all the stations in the State are opened for longer hours, people would not be rushing to form long queues.

People would maintain social distancing and maintai- ning order at the stations would be easy, they said.

When asked why there are only eight stations opened daily, the officials maintained that they do not know the reason but stressed that the IOCL has announced ex-gratia and health packages for its workers and their family members in connection with COVID-19 pandemic.

Family of employees of IOCL who die because of COVID-19 would be given ex-gratia of Rs 5 lakh and above this the employees and their family members are covered by a health scheme of Rs 1 lakh, they said.

As the lockdown has been extended till May 3, the issues are going stay for a while.

All fuel stations must open to ensure easy maintenance of social distancing and reduce overcrowding/long queues.

This would also save valuable time of those who are engaged in delivering essential services, the officials said.


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