Unnecessary protocol: Oil tanker owners to protest stringent security measures

Security has been beefed up around Keamari oil terminal following the two bomb blasts.


Oil tankers’ owners have threatened to go on strike against the stringent security measures which they claim are causing them hindrance. PHOTO: ATHAR KHAN/EXPRESS

KARACHI:


Annoyed by the stringent security measures put in place by the law enforcement agencies (LEA) at the Keamari oil terminal, owners of oil tankers have decided to go on strike after Friday.


The LEAs have converted the road to one-way after two bombs exploded at the terminal and a third was found from a tanker on May 7. No vehicle is being allowed to access the oil terminal from Shireen Jinnah Colony after the conversion of the road to one-way.

Drivers who used to park their vehicles at Shireen Jinnah Colony have to come through Native Jetty Bridge to Keamari to enter the terminal to fill the tankers, said Murad Khan, a member of the All Pakistan Oil Tankers Owners Association (APOTOA).

Khan owns two oil tankers that supply fuel to pumping stations of one of the oil marketing companies. “Last night, I had to give my vehicle’s documents to the driver who was inside the terminal but the Frontier Constabulary personnel and police officials did not allow me to go inside from the entrance at Shireen Jinnah Colony,” he said, adding that he had to take U-turn and go through Keamari. “This is not the proper way to increase security. The police and Rangers should check all the vehicles properly and then let them access this road,” he said. All three law enforcing agencies are present at the oil terminal.

Most of the association’s members were against the movement of coal-carrying trucks in the oil terminal, which they said was a flaw in the security system.

APOTOA representatives have set up loudspeakers on a Suzuki van near Shireen Jinnah Colony, where they were making announcements about the upcoming strike on Wednesday. “We will cease our operations if the gates were not open by Friday,” said the association’s spokesperson, Israr Ahmed Shinwar.

Published in The Express Tribune, May 22nd, 2014.

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