Fuel stations in Hyderabad go dry as motorists queue up

January 02, 2024 04:35 pm | Updated January 03, 2024 07:56 am IST - HYDERABAD

The long queue leading to a petrol bunk led to traffic jam at Road Number 12, Banjara Hills in Hyderabad on January 2, 2024.

The long queue leading to a petrol bunk led to traffic jam at Road Number 12, Banjara Hills in Hyderabad on January 2, 2024. | Photo Credit: NAGARA GOPAL

The long queue leading to a petrol bunk led to traffic jam at Road Number 12, Banjara Hills, in Hyderabad, on Tuesday.

The long queue leading to a petrol bunk led to traffic jam at Road Number 12, Banjara Hills, in Hyderabad, on Tuesday. | Photo Credit: NAGARA GOPAL

HYDERABAD

Fuel supply was hit, and panic-buying was the order of the day at petrol bunks across Hyderabad, owing to the nation-wide strike called organised by petroleum tanker drivers.

The drivers had called for a strike given the stringent penalties prescribed against hit-and-run cases under the new criminal laws. Under the Bharatiya Nyaya Sanhita, those involved in such accidents can face up to 10 years in prison and a fine of up to ₹ 7 lakh, in case they do not inform the authorities of the accident.

Long queues were witnessed across petrol bunks in the city. While many motorists and commuters who had reached petrol bunks to top-up their vehicles were caught unawares by the massive rush, a few others, anticipating the rush, said that they managed to avoid the fuel refilling frenzy.

Even as people poured into petrol bunks, some ran out of stock and had to display boards stating that they had exhausted their supply of fuel. Long queues were seen along the 100 Feet Road near Madhapur, and at petrol bunks in Jubilee Hills and Banjara Hills. Similar scenes were witnessed in other parts of the city such as Falaknuma in the Old City as well as areas in Mallepally, Murad Nagar and Mehdipatnam.

As a mark of solidarity, the Telangana Lorry Owners Association too has been supporting the strike.

Police step in

Though petrol bunks displayed boards stating there is no fuel, motorists continued to wait. As the queue started to grow, police blocked the road leading to a petrol bunk on Road Number. 12, Banjara Hills with barricades and diverted traffic. Bumper-to-bumper traffic for long distances was witnessed wherever there are petrol bunks. Police had to step in to regulate the queue at an Indian Oil fuel station at Langar Houz.

Speaking to The Hindu, B Uday Kumar, an office bearer of the Telangana Petroleum Tankers Association said that the strike has not been cancelled. He said that a majority of petroleum tankers were off the roads. “We are standing by our demand of removing the 10 year imprisonment and ₹ 7 lakh fine. We will continue with the strike. There is an attempt to pressurise us to call off the strike, but we will go on,” he said.

On the other hand, petroleum dealers said that they are engaged in discussions to break the logjam with the striking truckers and come to an understanding. “We are taking to them and hopefully the supply will be restored by tomorrow,” said Amarender Reddy from the Telangana Petroleum Dealers Association said.

According to Mr Reddy, there are around 850 petrol bunks in the Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation Limits, and a total of 3,500 in Telangana.

In a statement, Civil Supplies Department Commissioner D.S. Chauhan clarified that the situation is under complete control and there is no need for people to panic in this regard. He appealed to the public not to resort for panic buying of petrol or diesel, as there will be no shortage of its supply.

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