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June 4, 2020

Fuel shortage hits twin cities

Lahore

June 4, 2020

Rawalpindi:No doubt, government has given a big relief in petrol prices and cut down rates by Rs47 per litre during three months but motorists are wandering here and there in search of fuel for past three days. Following sugar and wheat crisis, petrol crisis has hit the twin cities of Rawalpindi and Islamabad because several pumps have run dry of petrol and diesel for three days but the authorities concerned seem to be in deep slumber in this situation. Some petrol pumps are only supplying petrol of Rs500 per person on Tuesday.

After the recommendations of Oil and Gas Regulatory Authority (OGRA), government has once again reduced in petrol prices by Rs7.06 per litre, kerosene oil by Rs11.88 per litre, light diesel oil (LDO) by Rs9.37 per litre for the month of June. Now, one litre petrol is selling at Rs74.52 against Rs81.58, one litre high speed diesel is selling at Rs80.15 against Rs80.10, one litre kerosene oil is selling at Rs35.56 against Rs47.44 and one litre light diesel oil (LDO) is selling at Rs38.14 against Rs47.51.

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

Pakistan State Oil (PSO) Petrol Pump Senior Manager Imran Mughal told ‘The News’ that thousands of motorists are coming here in our pumps in Bahria Town for fuel. All PSO pumps are supplying petrol but others not for three days, he claimed. “Almost all the petrol stations in several areas have run dry except Pakistan State Oil (PSO) petrol stations. Earlier, citizens had to buy the CNG after waiting in queues at gas stations but now citizens have to buy petrol in the same way,” he lamented.

A Senior Manager of an international oil marketing company’s (OMC) petrol station on condition of anonymity disclosed that companies were not entertaining orders as they do in normal days. “We have placed orders for both petrol and diesel before Eidul Fitr holidays but are still awaiting supply. Company officials are not telling us the exact status of our orders,” he maintained.

Talking to ‘The News’, motorists and motorcyclists have appealed for smooth supply of petrol and diesel fearing an unrest situation in coming days.

Dr Uzma Irfan, a lady motorist said that she was searching for petrol for over half an hour. She said that she visited three to four petrol pumps but in vain. “Only PSO petrol pumps are supplying petrol and diesel,” she said. Rawalpindi Suzuki and Taxi Union President Raja Muhammad Riaz said that over 50 per cent petrol pumps are not supplying fuel for three days. Government should take an immediate notice against shortage of petrol and diesel it will create an unrest situation, he warned.

Pakistan Petroleum Dealers Association Secretary Information Khawaja Asif in a statement said that earlier there was a scarcity of diesel in several cities. Disruption of supply owing to Eid holidays or squeezed production has created a serious shortage of petroleum products in the market.

As per conservative estimates, nearly 50% of products were being supplied against demand. He claimed that a massive drop in crude oil price in international markets is among the various reasons for the current crisis including the suspension of supply and limited processing by refineries. The government should take immediate measures to rein in shortage as any delay could further aggravate the crisis.