Oil tankers cancel trip over Covid-19 fear

STAFF REPORTER IMPHAL, 1st Apr: Following reports of more COVID-19 positive cases in Assam, All Manipur Petroleum Product Drivers' Association has cancelled the dispatch of several oil tankers that were scheduled to leave Manipur on Wednesday for procuring fuel from Assam. Te tankers were scheduled to leave for Assam with a CRPF convoy after taking bridging challan from Malom Depot. However, the decision was cancelled after more COVID-19 positive cases were reported from Assam. As such, All Manipur Petroleum Product Drivers' Association has informed the Chief Divisional retail Sales Manager cum State Level Co-Ordinator Indian Oil Corporation Limited (IOCL), Manipur in writing of its decision of halting procurement of petroleum products from Assam for some time. In the letter submitted to the Chief Divisional retail Sales Manager, the association cited reports of increasing number of followers of Tablighi Jamaat who participated in the Nizamuddin Markaz event and returned to Assam, testing positive for COVID-19. Although the Assam government is trying to control the situation, it would be unreasonable and risky for oil tanker drivers to go to Assam at this juncture. As such, all oil procurement activities are halted for some time until the situation improves, the letter added. Meanwhile, a medical camp would be conducted on April 3 around 9.30 am for oil tanker drivers, handymen and transporters, wherein they would be tested for COVID-19 by a medical team before they leave the state. According to reports, the state is not facing any fuel shortage. However, people are facing difficulty in procuring LPG refills. In addition, as people are using less fuel due to the lockdown, the fuel in stock would be sufficient for the state for quite some time.

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