Drivers of LPG autos to go on indefinite strike

Drivers of over 1,000 Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG) autorickshaws are heading for an indefinite strike to protest against the frequent disruption of LPG supply from the fuel outlets in Kozhikode district.

Despite a number of requests made to the district administration and the fuel station operators, the disrupted supply in Koyilandy and Vadakara taluks are yet to be restored addressing the concerns of hundreds of taxi operators.

The leaders of autorickshaw drivers’ union say only two LPG filling stations are now available for more than 500 autorickshaws in the Kozhikode rural area, where they have no option but to wait for the arrival of stock to resume the service. A fuel station at Payyoli has been remaining shut for over a month claiming that there has been some technical delay on the part of delivering the stock from the fuel company, they allege.

The situation is almost the same in the case of the remaining three LPG filling stations in Kozhikode city. According to autorickshaw drivers, there is no consistency in supply or guarantee to get 24x7 service.

Many fuel station owners claim that they are short of staff to dispense the fuel to stop the service, they add.

As part of the indefinite strike, there is also a plan to lay siege to the fuel stations. Mass petitions have already been sent to various authorities for checking the possibility of holding joint discussions and finding a solution. According to divers’ union leaders, they will resort to an indefinite strike within a week if things have not been settled on time.

A functionary of the LPG autorickshaw drivers’ union in Kozhikode city said the promises given by the Union and State government to promote non-polluting vehicles were in vain in the case of LPG-fuelled vehicles. “Now, the authorities are after electric vehicles and those who purchased the LPG-powered vehicles are abandoned midway,” he rued. The drivers’ union leader said that the call to start five more LPG dispensing units in the district was yet to be considered by the authorities. “Even the appeal to start 24x7 service was not considered. The drivers are really struggling to cope with the adverse situations now. We are totally being sidelined,” he said.

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Printable version | Mar 6, 2021 2:32:26 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/kozhikode/drivers-of-lpg-autos-to-go-on-indefinite-strike/article33553370.ece

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