Mizoram: Controversy over transport costs leads to shortage of petrol and diesel.

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AIZAWL: Mizoram is facing severe shortage of petrol and diesel following a dispute between an oil company and the Mizoram-based Oil Transporters Forum over transportation costs. The decline came amid reopening of schools in the state.

However, a minister said on Thursday that oil supplies would resume and were expected to return to normal soon.

Mizoram imports mostly petrol and diesel from Assam.

Supply has been disrupted since April 1 when the Mizoram IOCL Transporters Forum (MITF) launched an agitation refusing to transport oil at the rates fixed by the Indian Oil Corporation Limited (IOCL) and demanded an increase. The forum also barred other private transporters from delivering petrol and diesel in the state.

Forum Chairman K. Lalnghakliana said that IOCL has recently fixed the cost of transportation lower than in 2016.

He said the new rate is not acceptable for local transporters as they have been suffering from this rate since 2016.

Although the oil company has signed agreements with a few outsiders on the new rates, Lalnghakliana said it wants local transporters to transport oil to avoid possible mishaps with petrol and diesel.

He said there had been instances of LPG being tampered with by outsiders in the past and the same could happen with oil if only transporters from outside the state were allowed to carry it. The leader also urged the state government to set up oil depots to prevent future crises.

Almost all the filling stations in the state capital have been closed since Wednesday due to depletion of stocks despite the supply of oil by the government.
In Aizawl, which observes traffic congestion almost daily, several vehicles stayed off the roads on Thursday.

Meanwhile, the Minister of State for Supplies. The government is working to resume oil supplies, he said.

He said that they have decided to send oil tankers from the State Police and Public Undertaking Unit to transport petrol and diesel from Assam.

The Minister said that the government has been working since February to resolve the dispute between IOCL and MITF to ensure that supply is not disrupted.

The MITF said in a statement late Thursday evening that it would temporarily end its protest for the convenience of the people.

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