December 2005 News

Fuel crisis looms in Kashmir

10 December 2005
The Daily Times
Iftikhar Gilani

New Delhi: Jammu and Kashmir was headed towards its biggest-ever fuel crisis as a strike by the region's oil tanker operators entered its fifth day on Saturday.Reports from various parts of the state say that petrol pumps have begun to run out of fuel and cooking gas is unavailable in markets.Sources said that most of Jammu city's petrol pumps have already exhausted their fuel supply, while the situation in Srinagar city is worsening. The supply in far-flung areas may last another day, reports said. 'Over 80 percent of traffic has gone off the roads in Jammu and by this evening, most of the public transport system will become non-functional,' traffic officials said. Sources said that even commercial traffic is on the verge of collapse. 'We had kept some stock for crises, but even that is now exhausted,' said Gurdeep Singh, owner of a mini-bus.The Tankers' Association went on strike to protest the government's ban on the entry of heavy motor vehicles, including tankers, within city limits. The ban was ordered after a directive from the state High Court aimed at easing traffic congestion in Jammu, a city of one million where roads have not been widened for decades.Of the 251 petrol pumps operating in the state, 'over 150 are already exhausted while the others have very little fuel', sources said.

 

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