RAWALPINDI: Following fuel shortage at filling stations, the illegal petrol outlets in the city are making a quick buck.
Motorcyclists and motorists have now turned to these small shops in Dhoke Hassu, Gawalmandi, Pirwadhai and adjoining areas, to purchase the precious commodity at Rs90 per litre.
The illegal outlets purchased petrol from oil tankers and filling stations at higher rates.
“I can’t wait for two hours in queue at filling station so I decided to get two litres petrol for my motorbike from the outlet,” said Mohammad Babar, a resident of Dhoke Hafiz.
Khawar Mehmood, a motorist, said he filled his car tank from the small shop at Dhoke Hassu at Rs90 per litre.
The fuel is being sold at Rs90 per litre in the black market
“The petrol filling stations and oil marketing companies have created artificial shortage to get the petrol prices increased,” he said.
People should protest against the government which has failed to deliver, he said.
Except for a few ones which are owned by Pakistan State Oil (PSO), most petrol pumps kept their outlets closed.
Long queues of vehicles and motorcycles could be witnessed on those petrol pumps which are selling the fuel.
In Bahria Town, the motorists resorted to protest as all the three filling stations there suspended the petrol supply.
The fuel shortage also created problems for patients as ambulances suspended their service due to the fuel shortage.
According to a survey, the filling stations in Gujar Khan, on Chakwal Road, Sohawa, Rawat, Humak, Model Town, T-Chowk, Bahria Town Stop, Soan, Katchery, Adiala Road, Mubarak Lane, Jarahi, Rukhshanda Masjid, Tulsa, Dhoke Syedan, Girja Road, Bakra Mandi, Chakri Road, Asghar Mall Scheme, Raja Bazaar, Commercial Market, IJP Road and in Fauji Colony have gone dry.
At PSO Petrol filling station in front of AFIC and Punj Sarki, few people chanted “Go Nawaz Go”slogans.
“I arrived Punj Sarki from Karal Chowk to get petrol. All the pumps in the area around airport road and GT Road are closed and petrol is not available anywhere,” Waqar Ali, customer at a petrol pump said.
He chanted slogan “Go Nawaz Go” and said the Punjab was being neglected by the Punjabi rulers and the residents of other provinces had enough CNG, gas and petrol.
Mehmood Ahmed, an owner of a filling station, said the PSO was sole importer of petrol in the country and after facing financial crunch, it stopped supplying the fuel to other companies and even to its own filling stations.
“The situation will improve after one week,” he said.
All Pakistan CNG Owners Association Chairman Gayas Abdullah Paracha told Dawn he had suggested to the government to open the CNG for one week to offset the crisis.
In Taxila and Wah Cantonment almost all petrol pumps went dry.
The unavailability of petrol has disrupted the routine life in Taxila. The motorists were seen shuttling from one petrol pump to the other but to no avail.
According to petrol pump owners’ association, more than 75 per cent city stations had almost become inoperative.
“The local petrol depots reduced their supply to only 30 per cent of the petrol pumps demand, and the situation is deteriorating,” says one of the station owners.
Published in Dawn, January 17th, 2015