India runs out of fuel, Army may come to rescue
Troubled with disruption in the fuel supply due to strike called by Oil sector employee Indian government is mulling to bring Army to move petroleum product cargoes from refineries to petrol pumps but did not take a firm decision on this
The option was considered as there was no loading or cargo despatching activity in Indian Oil Corporation. IOC Chairman Sarthak Behuria said, "We have exhausted all options and now we have to make officers work."
A large number of petrol pumps across the country went dry as the indefinite strike by oil PSU executives entered the third day on Friday, with possibility of a major fuel supply crisis looming large.
Indian Petroleum minister Murli Deora is meeting Prime Minister Manmohan Singh in an attempt to resolve the deadlock. “We regret the inconvenience caused to the people,” said Deora a short while ago.
About two-third of the 425 petrol pumps in the national capital did not open today because of lack of stocks, while 60% outlets in Mumbai hung 'No Stock' signs boards.
The oil strike has literally crippled the country with almost 60 per cent of the fuel pumps going dry across India.
With the situation worsening with every passing hour, the Territorial Army is likely to step in to overcome petroleum strike.
Hopes of an end to the stalemate have been dashed and the strike is now into its third day
With his talks with the striking oil officers heading nowhere, Petroleum Minister Murli Deora is expected to meet Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on Friday.
Late night talks on Thursday between the government and the striking oil sector officers failed with both sides sticking to their stands.
"The meeting has been inconclusive but the doors are open we are going to discuss again," said Sarthak Behuriya, Chairman, Oil Corporation of India.
The Oil Sector Officers Association stuck to its demand for immediate sanction of higher wages in 14 public sector undertakings.
But the government had decided to take a tough stand and not give in to their demands. Deora had reportedly assured the striking officers that he would take up their issues with the Prime Minister. But hours before the talks, the Petroleum Secretary said the strike was totally illegal and that the officers cannot hold the country to ransom.
In the meantime, The talks between the government and striking oil employee failed late on Thursday night over the officers' insistence on getting an immediate hike in their wages as the agitation entered the second day threatening a major disruption in supply of petrol across the country.
"Officials said the striking executives pressed for an immediate hike in their wages as an interim step before a final settlement is arrived at.
President of Oil Sector Officers' Association Amit Kumar said "the talks are inconclusive and our action is on".