Government to launch crackdown against 3000 illegal petrol pumps

Department of Explosives, Pakistan Petroleum Dealers Association (PPDA) to join hands to eradicate menace of mushrooming dabba petrol stations

ISLAMABAD    -  The federal government has decided to start crackdown against over 3000 illegal petrol pumps across Pakistan. The Department of Explosives and the Pakistan Petroleum Dealers Association (PPDA) have decided to join hands to eradicate the menace of mushrooming dabba petrol stations (illegal) and nozzles across the country.

A meeting in this regard was held here between Director General Explosive of the Government of Pakistan and representatives of PPDA here. During the meeting, the PPDA representatives apprised the DG of the hazards the masses face due to illegal fuel shops with huge tanks buried under shops in residential and commercial areas. These nozzles are now openly operating on every street and neighbourhood in all the small and large towns and even in major cities across Pakistan, a 25-member Reforms Committee of the PPDA informed Abdul Ali Khan, the DG of Explosives Department.

Dozens of such nozzle shops and dabba stations catch fire frequently and have killed many in recent years, the PPDA representatives said. These dabba stations sell smuggled fuel without any safety precautions and fear of the law, posing a grave threat to the lives and property of the masses. According PPDA, the growing number of nozzles installed in shops and roadside cabins has endangered their legal business, which pays billions in taxes and provides employment to hundreds of thousands of people. It was revealed that the daily smuggling of nearly 14 million litres of fuel into Pakistan costs the country billions of rupees.

On occasion, DG Explosives Abdul Ali Khan expressed concern over the mounting threat and conveyed his strong resolve to eradicate the dabba stations from every nook and cranny of the country. He said that all the district presidents of PPDA would identify and furnish a list of all such illegal fuel sale points, including the names and cell numbers of operators and the estimated quantity of fuel held at these points.

Abdul Ali Khan stated that the designated focal person would receive these lists; we will verify them, and then target the offenders district by district. He said that Deputy Commissioners, Additional Deputy Commissioners, Assistant Commissioners, District Police Officers, DSPs, and SHOs will have the legal authority and responsibility to take action. DG made it clear that non-compliant officers will have to face the consequences as per already stated and very clear law.

The DG asked the PPDA to supervise these departments’ performance and send weekly feedback through Hassan Shah, the PPDA’s focal person, with a monthly meeting to review the progress. DG Explosives announced the start of a vigorous nationwide campaign to stop practice of selling smuggled fuel after finalizing lists of wrongdoers.