Majid Kapra

Many petrol pumps in Srinagar run dry; people aghast

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 Div Com blames HPCL’s transporters for ‘mischief’, says shortfall will end by evening

Srinagar: Hundreds of consumers were agitated Saturday as several petrol pumps in Srinagar ran out of stock even as the authorities and oil companies contested the reports of fuel shortage saying adequate stock is available at all refilling stations.

In the wake of rumours about fuel shortage here for the past few days, braving intermittent rains, people were seen scrambling at fuel pumps since morning to get their vehicles filled. However, many petrol pumps in Srinagar soon ran out of stock leaving consumers agitated.

Reports of panic buying of petrol and diesel came in from other parts of the Valley as well.

Mir Suhail, a medical representative from Karannagar area of the city told ‘Kashmir Images’ that he went to a nearby petrol pump this morning to get his motorcycle refilled, however returned disappointed as the gas station had put up a message that “sale of petrol/diesel has been temporarily stopped; inconvenience caused is regretted”.

“If the authorities claim that there is ample stock of fuel available at filling stations, then why has an emergency-like situation emerged in the valley? Why are gas stations putting up messages that fuel supply has been temporarily stopped?” Suhail questioned.

He said instead of issuing misleading statements regarding shortage of fuel, the authorities should assess the situation on the ground to know about the problems people have to face.

Tariq Ahmad, an rickshaw driver from Sonwar said since most of the filling stations in Srinagar ran out of stock, and that he could not go out for work.

“I was at home for a full day as several petrol pumps in Srinagar had put up signboards saying that fuel supply had been stopped. Government should look into the issue as consumers are aghast. I live from hand to mouth, if I stay at home for a few days more, my family would surely face starvation,” Ahmad said.

Kashmir’s Divisional Commissioner, PK Pole, when asked about it conceded that few petrol pumps of Hindustan Petroleum Corporation Limited (HPCL) are witnessing shortage, which he blamed on the “mischief by its transporters”. He however said the shortfall will end by the evening.

He said Indian Oil Corporation Limited (IOCL) and Bharat Petroleum Corporation Limited (BPCL) do not face any such issue and that there is adequate stock of fuel available at their filling stations.

“Some HPCL transporters’ mischief created shortage but the shortfall will end by this evening as the issue with transporters has been resolved now. There is no need to panic; I don’t understand why people stock fuel in bottles, plastic cans, buckets when there is an adequate supply of fuel and other lubricants available in the market,” Pole told the media on the sidelines of a function at Dal Lake here.

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