Bhopal: The Madhya Pradesh government on Tuesday the supply of essential goods will not be affected in the state in view of the ongoing strike by transporters.
Collectors of all district have been directed to control the prices of essential goods and ensure proper supply of diesel, petrol and cooking gas, state Food, Civil Supplies and Consumer Protection Minister Pradyuman Singh Tomar said.
Transporters have been on an indefinite strike since last four days over their demand for rollback of the increased Value Added Tax (VAT) on petrol and diesel.
Appealing transporters to end their strike in view of the ongoing festive season, Tomar said, "The supply of essential commodities in the state will not be affected due to of transporters' strike."
Food and Civil Supplies department principal secretary Neelam Shami Rao said, "Under provisions of the Essential Commodities Act, the petrol/diesel and gas agency dealers are bound to maintain adequate availability of essential commodities."
If the dealers do not maintain adequate stock of diesel, petrol, necessary legal steps would be taken against them, she said, adding that oil companies have been maintaining supplies of LPG and petroleum products.
"District collectors have been asked to provide adequate security to the petroleum companies, and to keep a watch on the prices of essential commodities," she added. On Monday, long queues of vehicles were seen at petrol pumps in Indore due to short supply of fuels following the transporters' strike.
Indore's collector Lokesh Kumar Jatav has ordered the oil companies to keep the depots open on Dussehra, which is a holiday, to maintain petrol and diesel supply, an official in the public relations department said on Tuesday.
He said fuel pumps received supply from 380 diesel tankers and 200 petrol tankers on Monday. The supply of petroleum products was not affected in the state capital Bhopal, another official said.
Madhya Pradesh Petrol Pump Owners' Association president Ajay Singh told PTI that fuel supply was being maintained in Bhopal and other parts of the state. "This is transporters' strike. We are not part of it. We don't want to trouble people. There is no affect of the strike on the petrol pumps in Bhopal and other parts of the state," Singh claimed.
Madhya Pradesh Truck and Transporters Sangharsh Samiti president C L Mukati on Monday said the strike will continue until the authorities accept their demands.
He claimed that 15 lakh small and big commercial vehicles, including 1.5 lakh fuel tankers, joined the strike so far.
The government last month said it raised VAT on petrol and diesel in a bid to generate additional funds in view of the huge damage caused by heavy rains in the state. The VAT on diesel and petrol is now 23 per cent and 33 per cent, respectively.