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Tamil Nadu faced with fuel supply shortages

The Tamil Nadu state government in India directed petroleum dealers to refrain from limiting their retail outlets’ working hours and closing shop on Sundays. The Petroleum Dealers Association explained that their decision was based on fuel supply shortages, particularly diesel fuel, in different parts of the state, including Chennia, the capital. Chief Secretary L.K. Tripathy urged the companies to maintain adequate supplies. Officials of the state government, including Special Chief Secretary K.S. Sripathi, also asked oil companies to desist from insisting on advance payments for the stock from dealers. Chief Minister M. Karunanidhi has written to Union Minister of Petroleum and Natural Gas Murli Deora urging him to increase diesel allocation to the state by 75,000 kiloliters (kl) from the existing 4.2 lakh (420,000) kl. Tamilnadu Petroleum Dealers Association President M. Kannan said that in line with the state governments directive, it had been decided to withdraw its resolution pertaining to the closures. Truck owners staged a demonstration in front of Indian Oil Corp.s (IOC) office to protest against the diesel shortage. An IOC official said demand for diesel fuel had increased sharply, resulting in shortages, as companies started buying more diesel fuel to power generators, due to power shortages in the state. (August 20/27, 2008)