Strike called by petrol pump and tank-lorry owners for Sunday
26 August 2016, Nirapad News: Petrol pump and tank-lorry owners and workers called a 7-hour strike for Sunday to press home their 12-point demand, including cancellation of ‘abnormal’ land lease charge.
All petrol pumps and tank-lorry operations will remain off from 6 am to 3 pm across the country on the day as per an announcement of Bangladesh Petrol Pump and Tank-lorry Owners-Workers Unity Council, a new body formed by the owners and workers in the sector.
The Unity Council announced the programme at a press conference at a city hotel last week.
“Our strike will be observed all over the country as per earlier announcement as the government had not taken any step to meet our demands,” convenor of the Bangladesh Petrol Pump and Tank-lorry Owners-Workers Unity Council told on Saturday.
One of the main demands of the council is cancellation of new ‘abnormal’ land lease charge imposed by the Roads and Highways Department (RHD) for the use of its land by petrol pump owners for the operation of their pumps.
“Our land lease charge has been raised by about 188 times through a recent order. Currently, we pay about Tk 64,000 annually for the use of a land. Once the new rate is effective, we’ll have to pay Tk 27 lakh a year,” said Nazmul Haque, citing an example of a land in Matuail area.
The rate may vary from area to area, but the enhancement, in most cases, is nearly 188 times which is totally abnormal.
The other demands include re-fixation of commissions on the sale of petroleum, increasing the tank-lorry fares, introducing Tk 5-lakh accident-insurance coverage for tank-lorry workers, re-fixation of evaporation and operation loss at reasonable level, giving priority to tank-lorries at the ferry terminals, banning the sale of petroleum fuel by private refiners to petrol pumps to check the fuel adulteration or allowing them under necessary legal framework.
Construction of new terminals for tank-lories in new locations and renovation of old terminals, reviewing the existing policy for petrol pump set-up, and stopping police harassment on tank-lorry operation are also among the 12 demands.