Vehicle owners in the city are likely to face difficulty without fuel on a busy week day tomorrow. Around 3,000 petrol pumps in the state are to remain shut following a 24-hours strike tomorrow.
The strike has been called by members of the West Bengal Petroleum Dealers’ Association who have given a clarion call of ‘no-purchase-no sale agitation from 6 am tomorrow. The one-day strike has been called to protest against the non-fulfilment of some of the demands of the petrol pump owners. Among the demands are a hike in commission and proper implementation of blending of ethanol in petrol.
According to the members of the association, the system of ethanol-blended petrol (EBP) has been improperly implemented without considering the technical aspects. “Improperly blended EBP is highly hygroscopic and absorbs water including that from rain and humidity,” said a member of the association.
“The separate water layer I underground tanks, as well as fuel tanks, become a problem to the customers who demand compensation from dealers alleging adulteration. Due to this, the underground fuel tanks at the pumps need to be decontaminated bringing huge losses to the dealers,” he added.
Apart from these issues, pump dealers are also agitating against a short supply of fuel by the oil marketing companies (OMC). “A considerable share of our profitability goes in adjusting the pilferage of fuel during transit. We have flagged these problems several times with the OMCs but the issues are yet to be resolved,” rued the members.