ISLAMABAD: The petroleum ministry on Sunday said that it was making alternative arrangements to ensure uninterrupted supply of gasoline in Punjab after floods suspended production at a major refinery.
According to a statement issued by the ministry, supplies to fuel stations in Punjab were disrupted by the closure of an oil refinery in Dadu district of Sindh and Parco.
It cited the flooding that had caused blockade of main highways between Karachi and Punjab as another reason.
The ministry said it was working on an emergency plan to supply petroleum products to major cities in Punjab from other refineries in Karachi.
The petroleum ministry swung into action following a directive by Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gilani on complaints from the Punjab authorities.
Gilani, his media office said, had directed Petroleum Minister Syed Naveed Qamar to immediately investigate the reasons for the delay and respond to the shortage properly. The premier had advised the minister to report him on a daily basis.
Earlier in the day, Punjab Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif wrote a letter to the prime minister, complaining that his province was being discriminated in supplies.
There have been some protests in major cities of Punjab, including Lahore and Faisalabad, against the shortage of fuel. Long queues of motorists are seen at fuel stations across the provincial metropolis.
Published in The Express Tribune, September 20th, 2010.
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