LAHORE: Long queues of two-wheelers and cars have been witnessed at filling stations in most parts of the Punjab province following a reduction in supplies by oil marketing companies.
A number of pumps in various cities including Kharian, Sargodha, Gujranwala, Sialkot, Narowal, Okara and Shakargarh have also been closed due to the shortage of petrol, while the filling stations with oil attracted large crowds of motorists and motorcyclists.
As the media catches the air of petrol shortage, panicked citizens rushed to petrol pumps on Tuesday.
The widespread rumours of an additional increase in petroleum products are another reason behind the shortage. Consumers want to have more oil for saving money while petrol pumps intend to earn more by creating an artificial shortage of fuel.
Country braces for fuel shortages?
Petrol dealers insisted that the companies had cut down supplies of petroleum products to the province over long delays in the issuance of letters of credit by private banks for imports.
However, Minister of State for Petroleum, Dr Musadik Malik refuted the news of the oil shortage and said that the country has petrol quantity for the next 20 days at least. Earlier this month, parts of the country faced a similar situation, before the price hike, but despite the painful addition of Rs35 per liter, the basic commodity is still short.
The sources claimed that only a few fuel stations are offering petrol in several cities including Lahore, Sargodha, Gujrat, Gujranwala, Multan, Bahawalpur, Sialkot, and Faisalabad. Motorcyclist Ahmad Awais reported the closure of most filling stations on the Multan and Ferozepur Roads. Distressed people from the various cities complained of fuel shortage while others shared the ordeal to wait for hours to get fuel petrol. Several reports hint at panic buying at petrol stations as several pumps had already stopped sales owing to the limited availability of stocks.
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