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JammuTruckers’ strike hits supply in Jammu and Kashmir, fuel stations go dry

Truckers’ strike hits supply in Jammu and Kashmir, fuel stations go dry


/Srinagar : There were massive queues at fuel stations across Jammu and on Tuesday as the truckers' strike against stricter punishments in hit-and-run cases in the new law hit supplies in the region and triggered a panic-buying spree.

The J-K fuel station owners' association said 90 per cent of petrol pumps have gone dry in Jammu and in the next few hours, all stocks will run out as 1,500 tankers carrying fuel to the Union territory and were on strike.

The strike will continue and drivers will not return to work unless the new legislations are repealed, the All J&K Petrol Tanker Owners' Association has said. Hundreds of vehicles lined up at most of the fuel stations in the UT, leading to traffic snarls.

Further, social media added to the fear of people, especially the office goers and those who had to travel to other cities.

Jammu Deputy Commissioner Sachin Kumar Vaishya in a post on X stated, “There is sufficient stock of petroleum oils available and hence there is no need to panic. In view of the prevalent rush of public at petrol pumps across the district, all are requested to rest assured of available supply”.

Under the Bharatiya Nyaya Sanhita, which is set to replace the colonial-era Indian Penal Code, drivers who cause serious road accidents due to negligent driving and run away without informing police or the administration face up to 10 years in prison or a fine of Rs 7 lakh. Truckers in several states launched a protest against the “stringent provision” on Monday.

Meanwhile, a fuel station manager in Srinagar said their stock will last for another day at the most. “We had enough supplies to last four to five days, but since everyone is filling full tanks and there is a huge rush, the stock will last maximum for a day,” he added.

In Jammu, some fuel station owners have also sought police help to deal with the situation.

Rakshit Singh, who works at the petrol pump in Bohri, said, “There are orders from the administration to ration fuel, and right now, we are only giving petrol worth Rs 1,000 and 10 litres of diesel to cars.” A number of people standing in queues outside the petrol pumps said they have been waiting for nearly an hour, and even more in some cases, for their turn.

Abhinav Gupta, an employee of a private bank, said that with little fuel left at the petrol stations, he came to fill the tank of his bike. “It has become a nightmare for those who have to go to work daily as we will not be left with any fuel if we do not get it now. The fuel pumps have already run dry,” he said.

Anand Sharma, president of the All J&K Petrol Tanker Owners' Association and the J&K Fuel Station Owners' Association, said over 1,500 oil tankers have been on strike since Monday morning.

“The situation is going to get worse if the government fails to roll back the black law imposed on us. Ninety per cent of stations have gone dry and soon all the fuel stations will go dry. The government has severely failed to address the issue,” he said.

Sharma added that if the situation continues like this, there will be no fuel supply for the armed forces and the public which will badly hit normal life in J&K and Ladakh. The strike will continue and drivers will not return to work unless the new legislations are repealed, he said.

All J&K Transporters' Welfare Association chairperson Ajit Singh said that a written representation would be given to the lieutenant governor.

‘Chakka jam' today

Ajit Singh, chairman, All J&K Transport Welfare Association, said mini buses and trucks will remain off the road on Wednesday in Jammu. He said even on Tuesday most of the trucks and mini buses which were seen on roads were returning from different areas. “Truckers have refused to drive their vehicles as they are afraid of the new law, which has provisions for strict punishments,” said Singh.

No need to Panic: Div Commissioner

Divisional Commissioner, Kashmir, VK Bidhuri said, “There is an impact of the nationwide strike here as well. But we have 21 days' stock of diesel and 24 days' stock of petrol available at the depots in the Valley. We also have over 20 days' stock of LPG available.” “I have held a meeting with the representatives of the oil companies as well. There is no need to panic,” added Bidhuri.

The Northlines is an independent source on the Web for news, facts and figures relating to Jammu, Kashmir and Ladakh and its neighbourhood.

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