Fuel tankers’ strike may hit flights
Fuel tankers’ strike may hit flights

Hyderabad: The truckers’ strike is casting a shadow on operations of flights from Rajiv Gandhi International Airport (RGIA) here. With the operators of petroleum tankers deciding to join the strike for a few more days, it is more than likely that the operations of flights might be affected.

The petroleum tankers, who went on a day's strike on Tuesday, are now planning to continue the strike for two more days. Later, they would again go for three days in support of the lorry owners’ strike. The lorry owners’ strike entered fifth day on Tuesday and the Telangana Petroleum Tank Trucks’ Owners Association observed bandh supporting the lorry owners.

According to the petroleum tank owners, there are 3,000 tankers, which supply petroleum products in the city. They supply 200 trucks of aviation fuel to Rajiv Gandhi International Airport every day. All tanker services were cancelled on Tuesday. 

Each truck carries 25,000 litres of fuel and entire volume is consumed at the airport every day. According to the association leaders, the tankers had supplied excess fuel on Monday night and that fuel would last till Wednesday evening.    

Speaking to The Hans India, Lorry Owners’ Association honorary president and TRS MLA V Srinivas Goud said that the strike was continuing effectively. He said that petroleum tankers association would also extend their support to strike in the coming days. He said that the petroleum tankers would first observe strike for two days in a couple of day’s time and later three days after a week’s time. He said that the strike would intensify in the coming days.

According to the airport authorities, they did not feel any effect by the tankers’ strike. The authorities said that airport being an essential service, always keeps contingency plans ready. There are four suppliers for the airport and only the tankers of BPCL are protesting, he said.

The All India Motor Transport Congress (AIMTC) and the state organisation Lorry Owners’ Association have been on an indefinite strike since July 20. The lorry owners are demanding the Centre to bring petroleum products under GST with tax slab of 18 per cent. They also wanted the Centre to review the petroleum prices once in three months. 

The truckers want the Centre to decrease the insurance fees, which has been increased three-folds. The lorry owners are also demanding the state government to have a single permit system in both the Telugu states. They want the state government to fulfil the written assurances given to the lorry owners when they had gone to strike earlier. 

Lorry Owners Association president N Bhaskar Reddy said that the movement of the vehicles has come down substantially in the last couple of days. He said that their national union All India Motor Transport Congress (AIMTC) would take a decision and convey it to the state unit.  

The strike is likely to continue further because Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley is ill and most of the demands of the lorry owners are pertaining to the Finance Ministry. Prime Minister Narendra Modi is also on a foreign visit and the leaders feel that it would take some time for any further decision.


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