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Dhaka Saturday,  Jun 15, 2024

Fuel Strike Lifted Till Sept 30

People suffered across the country today as a faction of petrol pump owners and workers in the fuel distribution went on strike.

The 16-hour strike, which was called by a faction of the Bangladesh Petrol Pump Owners’ Association, was postponed till September 30 today.
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Syed Sajjadul Karim Kabul, president of the faction, said this in a press conference after meeting with Bangladesh Petroleum Corporation (BPC) officials.

The strike was called with a three-point demand — fixing the sales commission for pump owners at 7.5 percent per litre, setting the tank-lorry economic life to 50 years, and issuing a gazette notification recognising the pump owners as “commission agents”.

Kabul said, the government assured to fulfil the demands by September 30. “As the talks went well, we postponed the nationwide strike.”

Before the announcement, the energy division yesterday met one of their demands by issuing the gazette notification in which it recognised them as agents of BPC.

Meanwhile, people suffered across the country because of the strike. People initially got fuel from maximum petrol pumps, but many of them ran out of fuel as the day progressed.

Mohammad Nazmul Haque, president of another faction of Bangladesh Petrol Pump Owners’ Association, said the strikers were preventing their fuel trucks from leaving the fuel depots across the country.

Bangladesh Tank-lorry Owners Association, Bangladesh Fuel Oil Distributors Association, Khulna Divisional Tank-lorry Sramik Union and Padma, Meghna and Jamuna Tank-lorry Sramik Kalyan Samity observed the strike for 16 hours.

In Khulna, strikers staged blockades at the three state-owned depots, stopping fuel supply in at least 14 districts of the division and the greater Faridpur area.

In the capital, the fuel supply situation was normal during the morning. But later, the fuel stock ran out at different pumps.
The Daily Star correspondents visited at least 13 petrol pumps in different areas of Dhaka and found only four pumps were selling fuel as usual.

Four other pumps were found selling fuel partially.

In Banasree, a sign hung in front of a petrol pump read “Octane stock out”. However, the pump was selling other products.

Till 12:00pm, this newspaper visited six refuelling stations in Mohakhali, Tejgaon and Satrasta areas and found two were providing their usual services.

But later both the stations ran out of stock. Only diesel was available at one station.

Petrol pumps in Matsya Bhaban, Shahbag and Asadgate areas were found shut in the afternoon.

Palash Das, an employee of a private organisation, was seen waiting at Elina Oil Pump at Notunrasta More in Khulna.

He said he rushed here knowing the news, but couldn’t manage to refill.

“I was supposed to go to my working station at Batiaghata which is 25 km away from here. Now I have to take oil from the roadside shops at a higher rate,” he added.

Meanwhile, over three hundred tank-lorry drivers were waiting at different parts of three state-owned oil depots –Padma, Meghna and Jamuna — of Khalishpur area in Khulna.

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