Pakistan: Energy crisis reaches new heights, Lahore faces misery
Pakistan's cultural capital Lahore is in the serious grip of major fuel crisis. Majority of the petrol pumps in Lahore and its out outskirts are either closed or serving only few hours a day. Unavailability of CNG has also added to the already worst situation. There are big queues of cars and bikes at the gas stations as 90% of the CNG/Petrol pumps are closed. Fights were also seen between petrol pump employees and people. Pump owners have blamed the government for the shortage of fuel and stated that government and suppliers are not supplying fuel to them whereas CNG shortage is just due to low pressures during winters.
The shortage of petroleum products has also became a regular feature of the provincial capital especially on the last one or two days of the month and most of the petroleum dealers avoid placing orders if there was a chance of decrease in POL prices. On the other hand, in case of a raise in POL products, the petroleum dealers also close down their sales on the last day of a month to sell their products on high rates.
Last month, the same phenomenon hit the city as a number of filling stations in various localities either refused to sell petrol or closed down their business, claiming they had not purchased fresh stock due to the expected decrease in price. Following this, Lahore DCO Sajjad Ahmed Bhutta issued a press statement warning all the filling station owners of the city to end the artificial shortage of petrol and start sales, otherwise, special magistrates would conduct raids and seal the filling stations.
Lahorites termed the DCO’s statement an eyewash as no action had taken against any of the filling station owners then as well as now. The shortage of petroleum is expected to continue on Monday.