August 2016 News

Filling Stations Run Dry As Tankers' Strike Enters Day 2

21 August 2016
The Tribune
Amir Karim Tantray

Srinagar: As oil tankers continue to be off the roads for the second consecutive day in protest against the attacks on tanker drivers and their vehicles in the Valley, the state has started to feel the pressure as refilling stations are running dry in the state. Though the administration swung into action and held a meeting with the All J&K Oil Tankers Drivers and Conductors' Union today, it yielded no result. The strike call was given by the All J&K Oil Tankers Drivers and Conductors' Union on Saturday, stopping fuel supply to the entire state. More than 1,800 oil tankers and truckers are on an indefinite strike against the attacks on drivers and vehicles. Their strike has started to impact the daily life of people in the state as fuel is not available anywhere. People along with their vehicles were seen waiting in queues at almost all refilling stations, but there was no fuel. Meanwhile, president of the All J&K Oil Tankers Drivers and Conductors' Union KD Wani claimed that the government had agreed to their demands. He said they were yet to take a decision on calling off the strike till the government formally announced the compensation. 'We met Divisional Commissioner, Jammu, Pawan Kotwal and Inspector General of Police, Jammu, Danesh Rana and put forth our demands of providing foolproof security to our vehicles, compensation for the damaged vehicles and the drivers injured in attacks,' Wani said. 'The administration has assured us that on Monday at 10 am, it will handover Rs 10,000 cheques to the injured drivers and also provide compensation to those whose vehicles have been damaged,' Wani said, adding that they will decide on calling off the strike in Jammu when the money is handed over to them. 'We will not resume supply to the Kashmir valley until security is provided to us,' he added. The union is also getting support from the Jammu and Kashmir Oil Tankers' Association. Its president Anan Sharma also had a meeting with the administration and put forth similar demands. Meanwhile, the administration is hopeful that the tanker drivers will call off their strike tomorrow. 'There was nothing wrong in their demands. Some of their demands have been accepted,' said Simrandeep Singh, Deputy Commissioner, Jammu. He said the administration had decided to pay Rs 10,000 to each injured driver and also repair their vehicles. On restoration of fuel supply to the Kashmir valley, the Jammu divisional administration will be talking to the Kashmir divisional administration to see how to go forward. 'The standard operating procedure will have to be discussed with the divisional administration in Kashmir and it may take some time. As far as the Jammu region is concerned, supplies may be restored tomorrow,' the Jammu DC added.