Vol. 5 Num 926 Sat. January 06, 2007  

Diesel Crisis in N-region
People suffer as bus service disrupted

Short supply of diesel has led to the suspension of several bus services on various routes in the northern region, causing untold suffering to people trying to reach their destinations after celebrating Eid at their village homes.

Leaders of Sirajganj transport owners and workers association said people have started to return to cities and towns to join their work after Eid holidays, but the diesel crisis has forced the transport operators to suspend bus services.

Blaming the caretaker government for the diesel crisis, the leaders demanded adequate supply of fuel oil and steps to control its prices.

They said the filling station owners have raised the price of diesel by Tk 5 to Tk 8 per litre on the plea of Eid vacation, but it is difficult to charge the passengers extra fare.

Some filling station owners said Baghabari oil depots have failed to supply diesel to them. The oil lorries have returned from the depots without diesel supplies.

Only a few filling stations received diesel supplies, but the quantity is too little to meet the demand. So, they are selling diesel at a rate higher than the price fixed by the government, the owners said.

When contacted, Rabiul Alam, superintendent of Jamuna depot, Abdul Jalil of Meghna depot and Shahjahan Hawlader of Padma depot in Baghabari said they could not supply fuel oil to dealers as the oil barges could not reach the depots in the last seven days. The barges remained stuck on underwater shoals at Nakalia, Mohonganj and Pechakhola points in Jamuna river under Pabna district, they claimed.

They also said that the problem will not be solved until proper dredging is completed.

Leaders of transport owners and workers association called on the authorities to immediately take steps to stop smuggling of diesel to India.

They also threatened to launch tougher agitation if their demand is not met soon.