ISLAMABAD/LAHORE/QUETTA/PESHAWAR : - After non availability of CNG due to strike by the CNG Dealers Association, petrol and diesel has also become a rare commodity in many cities of the country including capital Islamabad. Commuters and motorists have to suffer a lot as Petroleum Dealers Association has also joined the strike of CNG Association, creating scarcity of petroleum products.
The APCNGA on Friday involved owners of petrol pumps and requested them to close down their filling stations, as the government is not taking any notice of their strike and not ready to solve the issue.
The worst situation was witnessed in Lahore where CNG closure entered the sixth day while petrol was scarce as the filling stations were closed on Saturday.
In Peshawar, CNG stations remained closed for third day while commuters were facing severe problems. However, some stations remained functional at Civil Quarters, Ring Road and Kohat Road where long queues were witnessed.
The situation was not much different in Quetta where partial strike was observed while long queues of customers were witnessed at stations that were selling CNG.
APCNGA Central Chairman Ghayas Abdullah Paracha said that their strike would continue till the fulfillment of their demands and if the government does not take any notice they would close down all petrol pumps.
He said that they were in contact with the Petroleum Dealers Association and its office-bearers were ready to close down their filling stations against the imposition of the CESS tax.
CNG Dealers Association Senior Vice Chairman Afzal Mehar said that the All-Pakistan CNG Association has their full support, as they are not only fighting for their rights but also for the rights of the general public.
He said if the government would pass the CESS tax then it would be an extra burden on the general public. People were already facing hard time because of high inflation rate and now with increase in the price of CNG it would become very difficult for them to drive their vehicles on CNG.
Afzal Mehar said that the government should take serious notice and cancel this bill as soon as possible to give some relief to the general public.
It should be mentioned that CNG stations across the three provinces except Sindh have been on strike for last four days to lodge their protest against the proposed tax surcharge on fuel gas from July 01. Despite statements by the Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Resources and repeated requests for negotiations, the CNG Association declined to call off the ongoing strike until their demands were met.
As the consumers exhausted their gas fuel, they turned to Petrol and diesel on Sunday but many of the stations either for pocketing money or for joining the strike of CNG Dealers told them that they have no stocks. Even private ambulances usually parked outside hospitals, told needy people that they have no fuel to carry the patients and dead bodies.
In the capital, some petrol pumps turned back the vehicles on the ground that they have no stocks while at others, there were long queues as the car owners wanted to fill their tanks fearing that the fuel crisis would worsen if the strike was not called off.
Most of the public transport was off the road while wagons, rickshaws and taxis charged extra fares from the traveling public on the ground that they were using petrol and diesel.
The traders and businessmen also suffered a lot due to non availability of petrol to run generators during load shedding.
With the joining of Petroleum Dealers Association in the strike, most cities are feared to face scarcity of transport. What is more surprising is short supply of POL at the fuel stations.
Pakistan State Oil (PSO) keeping in view the shortage in future has decided to purchase additional 35,000 tonnes of petrol.
On the other hand, CNG dealers in Sindh called off strike after differences emerged with the CNG Association. However under load management schedule, the CNG supply will remain cut off across the province from 9pm on Sunday (today) till 7am on Monday.