Madhya Pradesh Transporters Strike: People Flock Petrol Pumps in Indore
Petrol Pumps in Indore (Photo Credits: Twitter)

Indore/Bhopal, October 7: Supply of fuel has been severely affected in Indore as the indefinite strike called by transporters in Madhya Pradesh for rollback of increased VAT on petrol and diesel entered the third day on Monday.

Long queues of vehicles were seen at petrol pumps in the commercial capital of the state with rumours on an impending 'fuel crisis' resulted into people rushing to replenish the fuel stock.

According to sources, petrol and diesel stock in 50 per cent of the total 95 petrol pumps in the city has ran out. Meanwhile, district administration has swung into action and convened a meeting of petrol pump operators.

According to officials, 80 tankers of diesel and petrol have been demanded from Bharat Petroleum Corporation Limited (BPCL), Indian Oil, Hindustan Petroleum Corporation Limited (HPCL) to maintain supply of fuel.

"The situation will soon become normal at petrol pumps where fuel stock ran out," said district collector Lokesh Kumar Jatav. He said action would be initiated under section 144 of the Criminal Procedure Code (CrPC) for spreading rumours and unconfirmed information on social media about 'fuel crisis'.

On the other hand, striking transporters are adamant on their stand. "Strike will continue till authorities accept our demands," said Madhya Pradesh Truck and Transporters Sangharsh Samiti president CL Mukati. He claimed that 15 lakh small and big commercial vehicles, including 1.5 lakh fuel tankers, have joined the strike.

The government had claimed that it raised the Value Added Tax (VAT) on petrol and diesel last month in a bid to generate additional funds in view of the huge damage caused by heavy rains in the state.

VAT on diesel and petrol is now 23 per cent and 33 per cent, respectively.

Meanwhile, state Public Relations Minister PC Sharma told reporters in Bhopal that the strike would be withdrawn soon as necessary steps are being taken to end the deadlock.

"The Centre should include fuel under the Goods and Service Tax (GST) regime. This will end the problem of change in the rates of VAT by states," he said.