QUETTA: All petrol pumps in Quetta were closed on Tuesday as their owners went on a strike on the call of All-Balochistan Petroleum Dealers Association in protest against sealing of some fuel stations by the authorities for selling petrol to people without checking their Covid-19 vaccination cards.
The district administration on Tuesday sealed several petrol pumps in different areas of Quetta for selling petrol to customers without checking their vaccination cards.
The owners of the petrol pumps strongly reacted to the action of the local administration and closed all petrol pumps in the provincial capital in protest, causing great difficulties to the people.
Haji Wali Mohammad Lehri, chairman of the All-Balochistan Petroleum Dealers Association, said that Quetta’s deputy commissioner had banned selling of petrol to customers without checking their vaccination cards, which was not possible for workers of petrol pumps to ensure as this was the responsibility of the administration to ensure this.
“If action is to be taken against customers without vaccination cards, the administration should do it itself instead of asking us to do this as it would trigger scuffles at petrol pumps between customers and petrol pump workers,” he said.
He said that petrol pumps in Quetta had been sealed four times over the last 15 days and now the association had decided to go on strike indefinitely till the government accepted petrol pump owners’ point of view as refusing customers petrol was not the pump owners’ responsibility but that of the district administration.
Quetta’s Deputy Commissioner Irfan Nawaz Memon on the other hand claimed that a few days ago, complaints had been received by the district administration about selling of “adulterated petrol” at some fuel pumps and the administration took action against some petrol pumps who had been found selling “adulterated petrol”.
Besides, Mr Memon said, the district administration had directed all petrol pump owners to abide by coronavirus SOPs and sell petrol only to those people who had been vaccinated against coronavirus and had vaccination cards.
“According to the government policy, it has been decided that petrol should be sold only to those people who have been vaccinated,” the deputy commissioner said.
Published in Dawn, September 22nd, 2021