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Odisha Motor Transportation Workers’ Association to protest against new hit-and-run law from January 8 in Odisha

BHUBANESWAR: Even as the supply of fuel and other essential commodities to the state is yet to normalize, the All Odisha Transport Workers’ Federation has given a call to boycott work to protest the Centre’s new hit-and-run law from Monday.

The federation’s move came around 24 hours after the Odisha Driver Mahasangha called off its ‘quit steering wheel’ protest raising hopes that the supply of fuel would resume normalcy. There was a shortage of fuel across the state during the three-day protest held by the drivers. The strike called by the transport workers’ federation can further worsen the situation.

During a meeting held on the day, federation president and CPM leader Janardan Pati said the workers will stop loading petrol and diesel from oil depots in the state. The federation has over 5,000 workers and drivers who load and transport fuel from oil companies’ depots in Jharsuguda, Balasore, Paradip, and Jatni to petrol pumps across the state.

Federation general secretary Ullash Swain said the new hit-and-run law can have serious consequences on drivers of different vehicles as well as their family members. On being asked if the strike called by the federation would cause inconvenience to people, Swain said they have no other option apart from putting pressure on the state government to protest the new law. Meanwhile, petrol pump owners slammed the federation for calling the strike despite Centre’s assurance that the new law will be implemented only after all concerned stakeholders are consulted.

Strike by Transportation Workers Causes Fuel Shortage at Stations In Odisha

“Fuel loading at depots will likely get affected from Monday morning. As of now, most of the petrol pumps in the state have stock available for one-and-a-half days. Some petrol pumps may run out of stock by Monday afternoon. If the strike continues, fuel supply will get seriously affected,” said general secretary of Utkal Petroleum Dealers’ Association, Sanjay Lath. Meanwhile, sources said the government will likely hold a meeting with the federation on Monday and persuade them to call off the strike.

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