The indefinite strike by the electricity employees that has pushed a major part in the State into darkness seems to have a cascading effect in Anantapur district. The people, who have been bearing the hours-long total blackout for the last two days, now have another problem to deal with— acute fuel shortage.
With no power to feed the fuel tanks at the petrol pumps, almost all the fuel refilling stations in the district have run dry of diesel and petrol, delivering a double whammy on the public.
Most institutions such as government and private hospitals, operators of cell phone towers and individual offices and households, having relied heavily on diesel generators, contributed to the rapid consumption of fuel.
As a result, a majority of the petrol pumps ran out of stock, while catering to the need of the district, which has doubled owing to the power outage. The fuel woes prompted the motorists to resort to panic buying of petrol for their vehicles. In the end, it led to an almost non-availability of all kinds of fuel in the district.
Black marketeers make hay
Cashing in the situation, some people continue to making hay by black-marketing the petrol and diesel. It is learnt that most of the hospitals bought diesel at Rs. 100 per litre to sustain operations while motorists bought petrol at close to Rs. 150 per litre.
It is learnt that the situation further worsened with the employees of HPCL and IOC fuel stations at Guntakal going on a strike.
However, trucks carrying fuel are learnt to be on the way to various fuel pumps in the district so that the acute demand could be met up to an extent.