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National

Web Desk
July 26, 2017

Oil supply crisis may deepen as talks fail between govt, APOTA

ISLAMABAD/KARACHI: Talks between the government and the Pakistan Oil Tankers Association (APOTA)...

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Oil tankers association calls off strike, supply resumes

Oil tankers association calls off strike, supply resumes

KARACHI: Following successful talks with the government, All Pakistan Oil Tankers Owners Association (APOTA) announced to call of strike, which has created fuel shortage across country during the past two days.

Talking to media, the APOTA Chairman, Mir Muhammad Shahwani said, “Our demands have been accepted and soon the supply will resume.” He blamed the government for the difficulties faced by the masses due to shortage.

The association had put forward the following demands in Tuesday’s meeting:

  • The National Logistics Cell be abolished.
  • Lorries be allowed to pass through the Kohat tunnel.
  • Lorries be the only means of oil transportation to Peshawar.
  • The current regulations system be continued and stricter laws not be implemented.
  • The tariff for lorries be increased.

Earlier, Karachi and other major cities of the country were facing shortage of petrol, diesel and other oil products as the strike of Oil Tankers Association entered its third day Wednesday.

The association Monday announced to suspend fuel supply across the country for an indefinite period in protest against Oil and Gas Regulatory Authority and Motorway police.

The government is enforcing the regulations for ensuring save supply of petroleum products after Bahawalpur tragedy where over 200 people lost their lives in oil tanker explosion.

Talks between the government and the APOTOA on Tuesday failed to produce a breakthrough on key disputes, as the association has flatly refused to follow the rules for oil transportation and bring improvement in technical standards of oil transportation vehicles and containers.

Long queues of vehicles could be seen at pumping stations in Karachi, Islamabad, Peshawar, Quetta, Lahore, Multan, Faisalabad and other cities after fuel at more than 50 per cent stations ran out of the commodity in the aforementioned cities.

Scheduled closure of CNG pumps in Sindh including Karachi had added fuel to the fire, however, later the SSGC announced to reopen gas stations in order to facilitate the masses.

There were also reports of black marketing of petrol in some areas.

According to President of Petroleum Dealers Association Abdul Sami Khan over 50 percent fuel stations across the country had closed as there was no supply in two days. “If the supply is not restored, all fuel stations will be forced to shutter down by Thursday.”

Safety standard regulations were formulated in 2009, which the oil tankers association agreed to implement over the next five years. Despite the lapse of eight years, the same were not implemented.

It may be a shocking disclosure that over 7,000 oil tankers were not in compliance of safety standards notified by the regulator but they were still on the roads. There are around 11,704 tankers in the country, and Ogra has installed third-party inspectors at all the filling points to ensure that oil companies do not supply fuel through sub-standard tankers. Out of the total, only 4,653 oil tankers were in compliance of safety standards.

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