Bar on private fuel outlets triggers unrest in Diglipur

Report by: 
ROOPA LALL
Port Blair
17 May 2017

Sudden embargo imposed on private fuel vendors has triggered huge unrest at Diglipur in North Andaman. While locals claim that such abrupt decision to shut supply of fuel to private vendors is intended to generate pressure for opening of the liquor sale outlet, the Andaman and Nicobar Islands Integrated Island Development Corporation (ANIIDCO) maintains that the move is as per the guidelines prescribed by the government.
“For a massive region like Diglipur, private fuel vendors have been a major source for the past many decades. Autos, two-wheelers and all other sorts of vehicles have been dependent on these private vendors. Sudden stop of supply by ANIIDCO has left many residents here dejected. People are forced to wait for long hours enduring serpentine queues to obtain fuel from the lone ANIIDCO outlet here. It appears that the decision is nothing but pressure creating tactics to allow opening of ANIIDCO’s Liquor outlet to which the womenfolk here have steadfastly opposed,” said some residents of Subhashgram.
ANIIDCO’s General Manager (Fuel), Babu Lall Meena, however, refuted the allegations. “Every decision is being taken as per the provisions contained in the agreement executed by the Indian Oil Corporation Limited. As per guidelines, resale of fuel is not permitted. Even keeping stock of fuel supplied by IOC is not permitted. As a responsible govt. agency, we are committed to follow the norms,” maintaining that the agency will follow all regulations of the government and the decision on the liquor outlet dependents on the local administration.