BOKAKHAT, Feb 21 – Strong resentment prevails among the owners of oil tankers in Golaghat district over the NRL’s sudden decision to ferry oil products and related tools and goods by train instead of tankers.
It may be mentioned here that according to the Assam Accord signed by the AASU and the Central Government at the end of the Assam Agitation, the Numaligarh Refinery was set up with a view to proving employment to the local youths. After the completion of the project, more than 150 youths secured licences from the NRL authorities for the transportation of oil products, etc., through tankers. Now the decision abruptly taken by the NRL authorities has pushed the tanker owners to an uncertain future.
The Oil Tankers’ Association has criticised the NRL authorities and asked them to withdraw the decision immediately as it is “against the interests of the local youths.” Members of the body protested in front of the commercial unit of the NRL by shouting slogans.
Meanwhile, the Golaghat district unit of the AASU has expressed concern over the decision taken by the NRL authorities. In a press release signed by the Golaghat district president of the AASU, Dadul Borah, and its secretary, Abhivarton Goswami said that the decision would render the local youths jobless. Carriage of oil products and related goods by tankers from Haldia in West Bengal has provided the youths with an earning source. The AASU unit demanded the withdrawal of the decision to transport oil products by train.
Echoing this, the Asom Jatiyatabadi Yuba-Chatra Parishad (AJYCP), Bokakhat unit, also maintained that the decision NRL decision would go against the local youths. A press release, signed by Kajal Mandal, president, and Nilotpol Khaund, secretary, alleged that it was a conspiracy. The organisation demanded the withdrawal the order in the greater interest of the local unemployed youths.
The youth body threatened to launch an agitation over the issue with public support.
Meanwhile, in view of the pressure from different organisations, the NRL authorities have given an assurance to the aggrieved parties of discussing the matter at a high-level meeting, to be held on February 26.