Petrol pump

1. North Bengal petrol pump owners to strike for 24 hours on February 15 demanding payment of overdue fuel bills.
2. President of North Bengal Petrol Dealers’ Association, Shyamal Palchoudhury, states outstanding dues amounting to Rs 19.33 crore.
3. The strike affects around 450 pumps, pressing for payment from the administration and police of eight districts since the 2023 panchayat polls.

Kolkata, Feb 11: Petrol pump owners in north Bengal have announced a 24-hour strike on February 15, affecting around 450 pumps, to demand payment of outstanding fuel bills from the administration and police of all eight districts since the 2023 panchayat polls.

Shyamal Palchoudhury, president of the North Bengal Petrol Dealers’ Association, cited dues totalling Rs 19.33 crore across the region.

Despite appeals and reminders to district authorities since September, no payments have been made, leaving many pump owners with pending dues.

While some officials suggest the money must come from the Centre, others argue it is the responsibility of the state election commission.

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The strike has stirred political debate, with state leaders and the BJP president exchanging views on the matter.

Meanwhile, pump owners assert that unless current dues are cleared and advance payments are made for the upcoming Lok Sabha polls, they will reconsider supplying fuel for election-related activities.

Additionally, the association calls for an increase in dealers’ commissions, highlighting rising costs amid the establishment of new petrol pumps each year.

They seek adjustments to commission rates, currently set at Rs 3 per litre for petrol and Rs 2 per litre for diesel.