Truck drivers' protest: Long queues at petrol pumps in Mumbai, Nagpur amid fuel shortage fear

Truck drivers protest new hit-and-run law in India, causing fuel shortages, long queues at pumps, and disruptions in transportation

Fuel supply to petrol pumps was affected due to the drivers' agitation since 1 January says Petrol Dealers Association president. (representative image) (photo: IANS) 
Fuel supply to petrol pumps was affected due to the drivers' agitation since 1 January says Petrol Dealers Association president. (representative image) (photo: IANS) 


Petrol pumps in Mumbai and Nagpur witnessed long queues on Tuesday as people came to fill up their vehicle tanks fearing shortage of fuel amid the protest by truck drivers against a provision in the new penal law on hit-and-run accident cases involving motorists.

Under the Bharatiya Nyaya Sanhita, which replaces the colonial era Indian Penal Code, drivers who cause a serious road accident by negligent driving and run away without informing police or any official from the administration can face up to 10 years imprisonment or a fine of Rs 7 lakh.

Petrol Dealers Association, Mumbai, president Chetan Modi told PTI that the fuel supply to petrol pumps was affected due to the drivers' agitation since Monday.

"Petrol pumps started getting dry since yesterday. If we won't get the supply, most of the pumps will run out of fuel from today," he said.

Mumbai has around 200 petrol pumps.

Modi said he went to the depots of oil marketing companies at Sewri in Mumbai, but the drivers were not letting any fuel tanker move from the facility despite police security.

Nearly 180 tankers are refuelled daily at the Sewri-based depots of oil marketing firms, he said.

Anil Garg, president of the School Bus Association here, told PTI that several fuel pumps witnessed long queues of vehicles for refuelling.

According to transporters, it was a spontaneous agitation started by some over-enthusiastic drivers which got fuelled through messages circulated among them on social media.

No truckers' body has officially declared any strike, they said.

Baba Shinde, a leader of transporters, said the All India Motor Transport Congress has convened a meeting of transporters from across the country wherein the future course of action will be decided.

In Nagpur, the truck drivers' protest triggered panic buying as people started queuing up at petrol pumps since Monday night (1 January) to fill up their vehicle tanks.

Nagpur Collector Dr Vipin Itankar on Tuesday appealed to the people not to indulge in panic buying of fuel.

Itankar said he held a meeting with representatives of various oil companies and petrol pump associations and there was sufficient stock of petrol, diesel and LPG.

People should not fall prey to rumours and not crowd the petrol pumps unnecessarily, he said.

Local transportation was on Tuesday, 2 January hit in the city located in Vidarbha region due to a 'chakka jam' by the truck drivers, claimed a local functionary of the Shiv Sena (UBT) which is supporting the agitation.

Members of various truck driver associations gathered at Samvidhan Chowk in Nagpur to stage a protest. They have planned to later go to the district collectorate to put forth their demands before the administration.

Various associations of truck drivers have called a meeting in Maa Umiya industrial area of Nagpur to discuss the future course of action, the Sena (UBT) functionary said.

The Maharashtra Food, Civil Supply and Consumer Protection Department on Monday requested police to ensure smooth and uninterrupted supply of petrol, diesel and LPG cylinders in the market.

It also urged for appropriate action under the Essential Commodities Act against drivers and transporters for the interruption of supply of petroleum products.

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Published: 02 Jan 2024, 12:48 PM