Fuel crisis: Bunks ration petrol in Shimla
In the midst of a fuel crisis, petrol station owners in Shimla have started rationing sale of petrol. Even as the tourist season is at its peak, out of the nine petrol stations in the city, four have gone dry, increasing the pressure on the rest.chandigarh Updated: Jun 20, 2012 12:37 IST
In the midst of a fuel crisis, petrol station owners in Shimla have started rationing sale of petrol. Even as the tourist season is at its peak, out of the nine petrol stations in the city, four have gone dry, increasing the pressure on the rest.
The transporters' refusal to carry fuel from depots of Hindustan Petroleum Corporation Limited (HPCL) has deepened the fuel crisis further.
Serpentine queues are witnessed outside filling stations and brawls have become quite common. The managers of the four HPCL bunks said they had only a few liters of diesel left, having run out of petrol earlier.
Dhan Singh Rana, a tourist from Delhi, said: "Aware of the petrol crisis, I had filled my vehicle tank in Chandigarh. However, if the crisis does not abate, I won't be able to extend my tour beyond Shimla."
Another tourist, Puttu Lal Chaudhary from Etawa in Uttar Pradesh, who was travelling by taxi, said due to the petrol shortage, tourists were being charged more by taxi drivers.
Parmod Chauhan, a resident of Panthaghati, said petrol stations of companies besides HPCL had started rationing petrol and diesel and so he was forced to make do with the limited quantity of fuel that was provided to him.
The crisis aggravated last Friday when tanker owners refused to transport fuel from HPCL's depot at Bahadurgarh in Haryana to dumps in Nalagarh and Shogi in Himachal Pradesh. The tanker owners are demanding higher rates for transporting fuel in the wake of new conditions laid down for fuel transportation.
"The problem has been persisting in the state since June 9, when tanker owners refused to carry fuel from HPCL's depots to petrol stations," Pardeep Kumar Bhardawaj, president of Hindustan Petroleum Dealers and Transporters Association, said. "After the intervention of the state government, the A between HPCL and tanker owners was resolved on June 14."
Bhardawaj said the fresh crisis started after tanker owners went on strike in Bahadurgarh, following which 99 pumps belonging to HPCL in the state ran out of stock.
"To ease the crisis, we have asked filling station owners from other companies to double their supplies," said Shimla deputy commissioner Arun Sharma.