Wednesday March 29, 2023

Artificial petrol shortage hits consumers hard

February 06, 2023

Rawalpindi : Following the ever-increasing inflation crisis, an artificial petrol crisis has hit the country including the twin cities of Rawalpindi and Islamabad because several pumps have once again stopped the supply of petrol and diesel for two days but the authorities concerned seem to be in deep slumber in this situation. The owners of petrol pumps were only supplying petrol of Rs250 for motorcycles and Rs500 for a car.

Dealers and pump owners have created an artificial petrol shortage and waiting for the announcement of another hike in fuel prices to earn extra profit. In the day time, over 60 per cent of petrol pumps stopped supply while over 80 per cent of pumps stopped supply at night till 12:00 midnight. The dealers and pump owners are waiting for the government announcement to increase fuel prices till 12 midnight.

On the other hand, Deputy Commissioner (DC), Rawalpindi Shoaib Ali has issued orders to all assistant commissioners to take up this issue immediately. He has ordered to take strict action against petrol pumps for not supplying fuel.

Despite huge amounts of fines, show-cause notices and applications for FIRs against Oil Marketing Companies (OMCs), the government has literally failed to control the artificial petrol crisis across the country including the twin cities of Rawalpindi and Islamabad.

There is a rumour all around that government will again increase POL prices by Rs20 to Rs30 per litre. Therefore, over 60 per cent of dealers and pump owners have stopped supply for two days. The tanks of all pumps are filled with petrol but over 60 per cent of owners have stopped supply to earn more profit.

The Assistant Commissioner (AC) Syed Asad Abbas told ‘The News’ we have received orders from DC to take strict action against petrol pump owners for creating an artificial shortage of fuel for two days. We have started taking action against petrol pumps for not supplying petrol. We will not only seal pumps but also register FIRs against them, he warned.

The residents of different areas of the twin cities of Rawalpindi and Islamabad have complained that no fuel was available at several petrol pumps for two days. Long queues of motorists could be seen at Pakistan State Oil (PSO) petrol pumps but other pumps were not supplying fuel.

The motorists were seen searching for petrol, as it was not available in the majority of petrol pumps in different areas, including Tipu Road, Murree Road, Jhanda Chichi, Kutcherry Chowk, Adiala Road, Pirwdahi, Mall Road Saddar, Rawal Road and Jhelum Road and some other areas. The long queues of vehicles at petrol pumps also caused traffic jams across the city.

Talking to ‘The News,’ managers of different petrol pumps, on condition of anonymity, said that the fuel supply has been stopped. Some managers said that the supply did not reach due to some unknown reasons. They warned that if the supply did not reach, motorists could face the worst kind of shortage of petrol in the coming days. The motorists belonging to different walks of life said that the situation is worst, particularly for taxi drivers who earn on daily basis to run their kitchen. They strongly criticised the government for not providing basic facilities to the public.