Srinagar- Fuel Stations in and around Srinagar witnessed massive queues of people on Friday as people waited to fill their tanks to keep their vehicles running.
The unprecedented rush comes amid rumors of fuel shortage and crisis in the coming days.
While most of the fuel stations operated normally with an unusual rush of people, some filling stations in Old city remained shut as they ran out of fuel.
Amid long queues of people minor altercations were also witnessed at some fuel stations.
The queue of people at Filling Station, Mill Stop was so long one end of the queue was at Filling station at Mill Stop and the other end was at Alipora in Bota Kadal.
People were seen filling fuel to the full capacity of their vehicles. They attributed the panic buying to rumor mongering about the fuel crisis.
“I made sure that I fill the fuel to the fullest, petrol pumps from the last two days remain shut and people suffer” Said Shazan Hamdani, a local from Lal Bazar.
“I don’t care about the reason why filling stations are running short of fuel but I need to ensure that I don’t get stuck at home” he added.
Javaid Akhoon, a motorist from Bemina voiced similar views.
“There were rumors that a fuel crisis is going to hit India so I made it a point to ensure I have enough petrol in my vehicle” he said.
“Apart from filling fuel in their vehicles, I saw people stocking fuel in cans” Javaid said.
Amid chaos and uncertainty, some customers also complained the fuel was being black marketed.
Some people were seen taking huge cans and later selling it for higher prices in the black market.
“Fuel Stations in Shahr e Khaas are running out of fuel, so I purchased locally” said Syed Sajid, a resident of Hawal locality.
“I purchased 1.5 liters of petrol at Rs 200 which is a lot more than its original rate. I had no other option” he said.
Talking to Kashmir Observer, Director Food and Supplies Department Abdul Salam said that the crisis erupted as a result of rumor mongering which had no basis.
“People started to stock petrol for no reason. I have directed the fuel station employees not to sell petrol to those taking it for stocking purposes” he said.
“On Friday, due to unfavorable weather on Srinagar- Jammu Highway the fuel tanks could not reach Kashmir, they will reach Kashmir by Friday evening, as soon as they reach here, the fuel crisis will be over” Salam said.
On the allegations of black marketing of petrol, he said he was not aware of it.
“If someone is caught selling fuel in black market, we will ensure strict action is initiated against those indulging in the wrongful act” he said.
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