LAHORE: The queues at CNG stations stretched to over a kilometre on Sunday as motorists rushed to fill up their tanks at the pumps not on strike and before the three-day gas holiday starting on Monday.
Only some Pakistan State Oil (PSO) pumps and gas stations in DHA, Model Town, Cantonment and Bahria Town were open on Sunday, as the All Pakistan CNG Association continued its strike over a proposed new tax.
PSO stations on Ferozepur Road, Wahdat Road, Jail Road, Masood Anwari Road, MM Alam Road and the Lower Mall were jammed with vehicles. “I’ve been waiting over an hour and there’s still a huge queue ahead of me,” said Usman Naqvi, a university student awaiting his turn at the Wahdat Road PSO pump.
He said that services in Pakistan were in a poor state, as one had to spend a long time waiting for everything, whether it be to get CNG or to pay bills at banks.
Ali Awan, a banker who was in the queue at a PSO station on Ferozepur Road, said he had a very busy schedule and resented having to wait several hours to get gas. He said that the government was insensitive to people’s needs, forcing people to protest on the streets. “Strikes and protests are the only way the government understands that something is wrong and needs to be addressed,” he said.
The Pakistan Petroleum Dealers Association is scheduled to join the APCNGA’s strike from Tuesday, said its spokesman Khawaja Atif Ahmed.
Ghias Paracha, chairman of the Supreme Council of the APCNGA, said that there had been no breakthrough in negotiations between the government and the association concerning the strike.
He said that the strike would continue till the proposed new tax was withdrawn.
Published in The Express Tribune, June 11th, 2012.