Petrol pumps dry up in Uttar Pradesh

January 9th, 2009 - 3:15 pm ICT by IANS  

Lucknow, Jan 9 (IANS) A majority of petrol pumps across Uttar Pradesh, including in major cities like Lucknow, Varanasi, Allahabad and Kanpur, went dry Friday afternoon, as the ongoing strike by officers of public sector oil firms entered the third day.”We have received information that nearly 85 percent petrol pumps in Aligarh, Varanasi and Meerut have been closed while 70 percent of petrol and diesel outlets in Kanpur, Agra, Lucknow and Allahabad are not providing fuel supplies,” UP Petrol Dealer Traders’ Association (UPDTA) V.N. Shukla told IANS Friday.

In Jhansi district, out of the total 68 petrol/diesel refilling stations, 60 have downed their shutters as they are unable to get any fuel supply in the wake of the ongoing strike, he added.

Nearly 2,000 oil firm officials across Uttar Pradesh have boycotted work in response to the nationwide strike called by the Oil Sector Officers Association (OSOA), said UPPDTA officials.

However, officials of the Hindustan Petroleum have not joined the strike, they added.

There are about 4,000 petrol and diesel refilling stations in Uttar Pradesh with the state capital having nearly 110 petrol pumps. Out of these, only 11 are owned by the Hindustan Petroleum, according to UPPDTA.

The state government Jan 7 had already banned any strike by oil sector employees for a period of six months with immediate effect in public interest under the UP Most Essential Services Maintenance Act, 1966, official said.

Meanwhile, there was chaos and confusion at all the petrol and diesel outlets in Lucknow.

“One of my friends told me that fuel was being supplied at this Bharat Petroleum outlet along Gokhale Marg in Hazratganj. But, by the time I reached there from my residence in Indra Nagar, petrol was out of stock,” Deepak Mehrota, a teacher in a private school, told IANS.

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