Farmers’ protests in Punjab hit supply by rail; fuel being transported by road now
Srinagar: Protests against the centre’s new farm bills in Punjab have disrupted supply of petroleum products through railway services to Jammu and Kashmir, the visible signs of which were seen on Monday at empty petrol pumps in many parts of Kashmir.
Farmers in neighbouring Punjab have been protesting against the three controversial farm bills which were passed by the central government on September 20. The farmers have often blocked railway tracks in protest, which has led to shutting down of railway services to J&K.
Several people across Kashmir valley, especially in Srinagar city, had to return from petrol pumps without fuel for their vehicles on Monday. People were seen visiting different fuel stations in the city looking for the elusive fuel. The dearth of petrol also led to some panic among the public.
“I visited Bemina petrol pump early morning but couldn’t find any fuel there. Then I visited it again in the day, but there was again the same scenario. I had to then drive a few kilometers to Nowgam, after enquiring from a friend about availability of fuel there,” said Arif Ahmad, a resident of Srinagar.
Similarly complaining of the unavailability of fuel, Sajad Ahmad, a resident of Anantnag, told Kashmir Reader that he was surprised to witness the sudden dearth of fuel at the petrol pump in Anantnag during the day.
“I was amazed to see that there was no fuel available at our nearby fuel station. I then checked with several other fuel stations around, and luckily managed to get a few litres after much effort,” Ahmad said.
To overcome the fuel shortage, Indian Oil said on Monday that they had rushed fuel supplies to the UT of Jammu and Kashmir to ease the situation. The company said that the shortage was due to disruption of the movement of petrol and diesel through railway wagons in Punjab.
In a statement, Indian Oil said that they were despatching fuel supplies to J&K through road in the absence of railway services.
“In order to cater to the demand of petroleum products in Union territory of Jammu and Kashmir, road movement of POL products has been organized from its supply locations at Jalandhar, Una, Ambala and Bathinda,” the statement said.
Talking about this issue, Divisional Commissioner Kashmir PK Pole told Kashmir Reader that the administration was ensuring ample fuel supply with the help of road transportation of petroleum products in large quantity.
“There hasn’t been any major shortage of fuel in the valley. The fuel supply had been affected due to disruption in railways, but we’re receiving fuel in large quantity through road transport to cater to the needs of people and to prevent any major dearth of fuel across the valley,” he said.
“The divisional administration is ensuring ample fuel supply across Kashmir valley. People don’t need to panic,” he added.