KARACHI/ISLAMABAD: A severe crisis seems to be brewing as most of the fuel stations in Karachi, Lahore, Islamabad, Peshawar, and Quetta, among other areas, have closed owing to lack of supply and high demands.
Moreover, at the handful of fuel stations that are operating, long queues of commuters can be seen as people rush to acquire the commodity before it runs out completely. Exchange of hot words with petrol stations operations and the motorists were also seen at sev eral places as the petrol pumps started ration of the commodity.
Fuel stations across the country shut down after supply was halted when the All Pakistan Oil Tankers Association (APOTA) went on a strike against the government’s decision to check if the tankers were according to the standard fixed by OGRA after the Ahmadpur Sharqia tragedy.
On Monday, APOTA announced to go on a countrywide strike in protest of the safety rules imposed by the Oil and Gas Regulatory Authority (OGRA). The association members decided not to supply oil to fuel stations in protest for an indefinite period until their demands were met.
OGRA said it would start checking the tankers being used by oil marketing companies, as it was feared many oil tankers did not fulfill the quality criteria.
APOTA has refused to comply with government orders pertaining to the use of substandard and unsafe vehicles for the transportation of fuel.
Tourists who had thronged Gilgit-Baltistan and surrounding areas were reported stranded owing to the fuel shortage as well as the halt in public transport vehicles, locals said.
Meanwhile, Railways Minister Khawaja Saad Rafique has offered to transport fuel across the country on cargo trains. Rafique spoke over the phone with Petroleum Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi and offered to utilise the rail network for transportation of fuel.
The minister also tasked Railways CEO Javed Anwar to contact PSO to pursue the matter further.
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