The Assam Petroleum Mazdoor Union (APMU) has decided to resume transportation of fuel to Meghalaya, which was suspended the previous day, following assurance of security of tankers and crew from the neighbouring state.
The transportation of all sort of fuels was halted by the apex petroleum workers’ organization, following reports of attacks on vehicles from Assam in the wake of unrest at the interstate boundary that left six people dead.
According to the General Secretary of APMU – Ramen Das, “We have received assurance from the Meghalaya authorities that the safety of tankers, our drivers and other staff will be ensured. But we have also told them that during any unfavourable circumstances, we will immediately stop plying of these vehicles.”
Among other terms under which the transportation has resumed include that loaded tankers will not be sent after dusk, until the situation ‘normalizes’ in Meghalaya, he said.
“Additionally, till the situation has improved, we won’t leave any loaded tankers overnight in Meghalaya,” Das added.
He claimed that seven tankers carrying petroleum products had departed from the HPCL Betkuchi facility in Guwahati for the neighbouring state.
Das added that the Petroleum Dealers Association, Meghalaya (PDAM) had pledged its support for a continuous fuel supply to the state.
In a letter to the APMU on Friday, the PDAM General Secretary urged the workers’ body of Assam to resume the supply in light of the assurances provided by the Meghalaya administration.
“As always we assure to assist your Union and the Govt of Meghalaya if some untoward incident happens with the tanker crew,” the letter further reads.
At least five vehicles from outside Meghalaya have been burnt down in different parts of the hill state since the violence on Tuesday, besides several cases of stone pelting being reported. No person has been hurt yet.
Although no fuel-carrying tankers were damaged, the APMU decided to suspend dispatching the vehicles on Thursday as a precautionary measure.
Following a protest against Tuesday’s violence that was held late on Thursday, two police vehicles were set ablaze in Shillong.
Assam Police officers on Friday maintained barricades at different sites where people may enter Meghalaya from Assam, including at Guwahati, and warned people against entering the hill state in a car with an Assam licence plate.