India Halted! Oil Strike hits hard - ESMA Invoked - End in Sight
Situation to Return to Normal by Monday
Looks like the oil crisis is coming to an end with Petroleum Minister and Petroleum Secratery of India stating that strike was coming to an end and situation has started to improve. They are threatning strict action against striking officers finally!!
BPCL Officers Call off Strike!!
Some respite for the person on the street, BPCL one of the Oil PSU in India has decleared that the strike has ended as far as its employees are concerned.
Update 14:05 IST Finally government is making some moves to call in Territorial Army and also Regulay Army to start the supplies. The striking officers are being sterns messages that they will be arrested under ESMA, Essential Services Maintainance Act. HPCL is now reporting 40% attendance. State Governments in Delhi, Assam, UP, Rajasthan, Maharashtra, Orissa, Gujarat have invoked ESMA to deal with the situation. Under this act the striking officers can be arrested for disrupting the supply of essential commodities.
Mumbai is supposed to have all CNG pumps operational by evening and top political leadership is saying that there will be no compromise.
Updated Coverage: 12:27 IST: The country has been brought to its knees by the striking Oil Company Officials and as usual the Government does not have a Crisis Plan to improve the situation. Murli Deora the Petrolieum Minister of India is down to pleading to the officials to break their strike as they ahve already broken the back of the common man on the street. This is the third day of the Oil PSUs strike and the Government is competely cluless about the future course of action other than to give in the blackmail of the Highly paid Officers of the Oil Companies striking work for even higher pay scales.
People are stuck on the roads and in their work places as almost all means of transport esp. Taxis are off the roads, petrol / diesel tanks are drying and the Petrol Stations across all the Major metros have dried up. For all practical purposes the country including its capital Delhi and Commercial Capital Mumbai are crippled.
In Mumbai people unaware of the gravity of the situation left home as usual and got the shock when they could not find transport to take them from the train stations to their work places. People with half empty tanks will start getting stranded by the evening. The roads are empty.. essentially for this weekend everyone will be under house arrest.
Updated 10:00 AM IST
Fuel Stations across the country are running dry with 80 to 90% stations running dry across the country. Air traffic is also suffering with flights getting delayed across all the airports in the country. Flights are getting delayed and soon flights will start getting cancelled.
The issue here is that even if the strike breaks it will take a couple of days for all the fuel stations to return to their peak capacity and normalcy to return.
Chennai: 85 % of the Petrol Pumps in the city have run dry.
Delhi and Mumbai : 80% of the fuel pumps are running dry.
Mumbai is reeling under the double impact of strike from Transpoters across the country, striking officers of Oil PSUs is a double whammy for the citizens of this city of 15 million.
From late yesterday evening Petrol/ Diesel/ CNG stations have started to run dry and about 50 to 60% pumps had closed down. All the Taxis in the city run on CNG and closure of these has effectively put them off road. It is diffult to see many cabs on the roads and people are just stranded on the roads. The cabbies are predicting that the strike will be off by noon as the case is similar all across the country.
The cabs with fuel are charging double to triple the regular to the stranded passengers and situation is expected to get worse as the day progresses. The situation will be really bad in the evening when people try to get back home as even those who travel by the train service rely on Cabs to get from the train station to their home. Cabbies are trying to make every drop count as once the fuel runs out, they may have to stand for hours in queues to refill and till then no money, translating into no food. Talking with a few irrate cabbies brought out the problem they face as they hire the cab on an 8 to 12 hour basis and if they spend most of it in a line outside the fuel stations they cannot earn anything, some are even going hungry!!!
A few pumps that have the fuel are witnessing serpentine queues. Refer to the photos from the streets of Mumbai.