CNG filling station owners association starting strikes from November 1

The CNG filling station owners’ association on Saturday announced to shut all filling stations and conversion workshops across the country for an indefinite period from November 1 if the government did not change its decision to keep the stations closed for six hours a day.
‘We cannot afford to continue with the six-hour suspension of dispensation of gas forced on us by the government and all our members have agreed at the meeting to go on strike from November 1 if the government does not address our problems immediately,’ said Bangladesh CNG Filling Station and Conversion Workshop Owners’ Association’s senior vice-president M Masud Khan, after its emergency general meeting in Dhaka.
But, Masud said, they were still ready to sit for talks with the government.
The government took the decision on the six-hour (from 3:00pm to 9:00pm) closure of CNG filling stations on August 16, to increase gas supply to the power stations and ensure sufficient gas supply to residences during month Ramadan.
A top official of the energy ministry said at that time that the move would save nearly 40 million cubic feet of gas a day, which could be used to increase power generation up to 200 megawatts.
The government took the decision on the basis of a proposal from Titas Gas Transmission and Distribution Company Ltd.
The association’s general secretary Zakir Hossain Nayan told reporters, ‘We have been abiding by the government’s decision, but the owners are facing huge financial losses as the closure is running for an indefinite period.’
The association threatened a tougher movement if their seven-point demand, including withdrawal of six-hour shutdown of CNG stations, a cap on gas price and installation of electric metres at the CNG stations, are not met by October 31.
The government on September 19 stood by its decision on daily six-hour suspension of gas dispensation at CNG filling stations though the filling station owners on September 18 threatened strike.
Nayan said the owners were compelled to take the decision to press home their demands.
There were 582 CNG filling stations and some 171 CNG conversion workshops providing services for 1,97,421 vehicles in the country till August while city residents alleged the six-hour suspension of gas dispensation had led to an exorbitant increase in the fares of CNG-driven auto-rickshaws and taxis in the capital.
Drivers of CNG-run auto-rickshaws and taxis, however, said the owners of the vehicles had not agreed to charge less in daily deposit although the vehicles were not running all day because of the six-hour suspension of gas filling.

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