Madhya Pradesh wakes up to panic buying amid oilmen’s strike

January 9th, 2009 - 1:18 pm ICT by IANS  

Bhopal, Jan 9 (IANS) With most petrol pumps running out of stock across India due to the ongoing strike by employees of public sector oil companies, Madhya Pradesh Friday woke up to panic buying of the fuel.”As the oil marketing companies’ executives from grade A to the level of deputy general managers have gone on strike, the supply chain has been virtually broken as the depots and sales departments have stopped functioning.

“With this, most petrol pumps in the district and elsewhere are gradually running out of stock,” a petrol pump owner said here.

He said the remaining pumps could go dry by Saturday or even before if the strike continues.

“The oil depots did not open since Wednesday and there has been no supply of petrol, diesel and cooking gas during these two days. The situation in some pumps and gas agencies where there was stock is normal but their stock would not last long,” he added.

Of the 3,200 petrol pumps in the state, about 2,000 have already run dry.

About 50 of the 82 petrol pumps in state capital Bhopal were closed since Friday morning while long queues were seen in the others.

The cooking gas (LPG) supply is still normal, but a majority of LPG dealers said if the strike continues for some more days, it will be difficult to get gas cylinders.

“We can supply cylinders for another day or two but if the strike continues, there is no certainty of supply thereafter,” one of them said.

Bhopal Petroleum Dealers’ Association president Ajay Singh said: “HPCL has made special arrangements to keep stocks with them whereas IOC and BPCL petrol pumps could suffer due to the shortfall in supply.”

“While, several petrol pumps have already gone dry, there could also be a short supply of LPG cooking gas to domestic consumers in the days to come,” an Indian Oil Corporation official said.

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