With the exception of only one petrol station, all others have run dry in Gilgit city due to a shortage of the fuel as a result of extended Eid holidays.
Following the prolonged vacation, long queues of cars could be seen outside the city’s petrol pumps. However, supply soon declined and the pumps’ reserves ultimately ran dry.
At the moment, Jehangir petrol pump in Gilgit is the only one in the city with some supply left and cars as well as people carrying jerrycans keep thronging to the station for a share of the precious amber liquid.
The crisis started soon after Eidul Fitr due to the extended holidays as the region’s petrol stations could not be replenished with supply from other parts of the country.
“I was told there is only one petrol pump in the entire city that is selling petrol,” said Murtaza, a car owner in Gilgit. “But that station only gives a few litres and that too after several hours of waiting in line,” he added.
The people’s frustration with the situation keeps increasing with each passing moment. On Wednesday morning, a car driver got into a fight with another driver at Jehangir petrol pump for bypassing him in the queue.
A ruckus ensued because several others joined in the brawl which disrupted traffic on the adjacent road. To add insult to injury, the pump management then stopped supplying any more fuel fearing loss to its assets.
This put an end to the residents’ only source of petrol in the city.
According to a report, the daily requirement of petrol in Gilgit is 20,000 litres.
The district administration claims it is trying to bring the crisis under control. Chiraguddin, an official of the administration, said: “We are in touch with the management of the petrol depot. The shortage occurred due to Eid holidays as fuel couldn’t be transported to G-B during these off days but we will fix the problem within a day.”
Aside from the residents of Gilgit, tourists who had been visiting the region have also suffered due to the shortage. Amir Iqbal who had been visiting from Lahore told The Express Tribune, “It isn’t ideal to visit G-B at this time because cars are not available on rent which means you are just wasting your time sitting in hotel rooms.”
Published in The Express Tribune, August 7th, 2014.
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