October 9, 2020

Farmers’ agitation hits fuel supplies to JK, Ladakh

Jammu: The farmers’ agitation in Punjab over the controversial farm bills passed by the Centre has led to the ‘fuel crisis’ in Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh due to rail service being disrupted.
The Union territories could be staring at a fuel crisis as many petrol pumps may go dry in the next couple of days.
President of Jammu Kashmir Petroleum Dealers’ Association, Anan Sharma said, “Not a single wagon (freight trains) has arrived at Jammu from Punjab since October 1 due to farmers’ stir as they have blocked rail tracks there and until the blockade is lifted, normal supplies cannot be restored in the UTs.”
He said that the major oil depot at Jammu railway station has stopped supplying fuel to gas stations in J&K and Ladakh.
Petrol pumps are now sourcing oil from Jalandhar and Bathinda via tankers to maintain the supply line. “Consequently, 250 oil tankers were dispatched to Jalandhar and Bhatinda on Thursday and over 45 tankers, which had left a day before, returned with stocks today, but not with full capacity,” said Sharma.
He added that fuel stations were running short of supplies and the situation can become worse if supplies were not restored. The administration should take up the matter with the Punjab government to ensure a smooth supply.
“Fuel stocks from Jammu go up to Leh and we all know that in November, roads are blocked due to snow. Secondly, the apple season is at its peak. Around 3,000 trucks are coming to Kashmir from Delhi every day to receive apple consignments. The government has to resolve the issue to restore normal supplies,” he asserted.
“Every day 400 oil tankers used to lift supplies from Jammu depot, which is not the case as of today. Though 100 oil tankers from Manali also reached Leh with supplies, an equal number of oil tankers used to transport supplies from Jammu to Leh on a daily basis,” he said. Out of 400 tankers from Jammu depot, 150 tankers used to cater to the Jammu region, 100 to Ladakh, and 150 to Kashmir.
However, state-level coordinator of oil companies— HP, BP and Indian Oil—Rajiv Yadav said, “We have mobilised tank lorries from Punjab for the last three days and bringing supplies from Bhatinda, Sangrur and Jalandhar. Some oil tankers reached Jammu on Thursday and some are on their way. There is no fuel crisis in Jammu and Kashmir.”
He also claimed that the J&K administration has reached out to the Punjab government to resolve the issue.
“Till wagons resume normal supplies, we are relying upon tank lorries. As far as the Ladakh region is concerned, we do winter stock,” he added.

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