Strike by oil tanker owners causes fuel shortage in Pakistan

The All Pakistan Oil Tankers Association (APOTA) went on a strike, which has now entered its third day, over the government's "unfair" practices.

He said the supply of petrol and diesel to all filling stations in the country will start today at 4pm.

Keeping in view the public interest of uninterrupted fuel supply, he said, OGRA would sit with Oil Marketing Companies to review technical standards and give them appropriate time for their implementation in letter and spirit.

"The oil supply will resume by 4:00pm", said Yousaf Shiwani, president of the oil tankers' association, adding that government officials had accepted the body's demands to extend the timeframe to adopt the new safety measures. Meanwhile, the OGRA also accused OMC of playing behind the scene and supporting the oil tanker strike.

Mohammad Akram, a motorcyclist in Saddar, said he wanted to buy petrol in case of an emergency after reports in the media that the strike would continue for days. According to OGRA, around 40 per cent of oil tankers are substandard and do not fulfil the criteria.

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The report exposed that a fake fitness certificate of the oil tanker was used by the company, and the tragedy could have been averted had the tanker been examined before departure.

Pakistan has 10 to 11 days of oil stock reserves, media said, but many service stations were shuttered, and carried "Petrol Finished" signs, following panic buying in the nation of almost 200 million people.

Shamas Shiwani, Vice Chairman All Pakistan Tankers Association, told that the motorway, traffic and excise police always demand bribes so a "tanker driver has to pay so much in extortion that he hardly manages to keep his clothes". "I don't want to face a hard time just because I don't have fuel in my vehicle".

Even the regulators became more active after the horrific accident which took place in Ahmedpur East when an oil tanker turned and caught fire, leaving over 200 people dead.

Government officials say safety has to improve in a country where few trucks are roadworthy.

(Copyright © 2015. All Rights Reserved.)
 
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