Serpentine queues formed at filling stations fearing four-day bandh
Utter chaos prevailed at different fuel filling stations late on Wednesday evening as rumours spread like wildfire that all of them are going to shutdown for four days as part of the ‘Sakala Janula Samme'.
Serpentine queues stretching on to the main roads formed within no time at the filling stations in several parts of the twin cities bringing the evening office traffic nearly to a grinding halt. Both the police and the filling stations staff had a tough time managing the sudden rush.
Huge queues could be seen at Somajiguda, Raj Bhavan road, Ameerpet, Balkampet and other areas forcing the police to force shut the few fuel stations as the traffic went haywire.
“No one is listening to us even after we told them that there is no bandh,” lamented a traffic constable.
Despite the fuel station owners and staff pleading that they had no information about the strike, motorists continued their demand for fuel and refused to move till their respective tanks were filled.
“It was a mad rush. Our workers were pleading to motorists but none was heeding to their calls,” said a fuel station manager.
Both the Civil Supplies Department and the fuel station owners association clarified that there was no strike plan.
“It was false and baseless news. There were no instructions from any political party or the Telangana political JAC about the strike. In fact, petrol and diesel are listed under Essential Commodities Act and prior information would be given in case of any strike”, said Twin Cities Petrol and Diesel Operations Association president D. Prabhakar Reddy.
So, how did the rumours arise? There was conflicting versions but a vast majority conform to a scrolling in a vernacular news channel which fuelled the panic buying.
“After watching news in television channels, my brother called me over phone and informed me about strike. I wasted no time in rushing to the nearest fuel filling station,” said E. Navneeth, a resident of Koti. Many others followed suit elsewhere.