Press "Enter" to skip to content

Fuel pumps in Jammu and Kashmir, Ladakh may go dry due to farmer protests

Last Updated on October 7, 2020 at 10:12 pm

The ongoing protest and disruption of train services by farmers in Punjab has caused a fuel crisis in the Union Territories of Jammu-Kashmir and Ladakh.

The oil companies like Indian Oil Corporation (IOC), Bharat Petroleum (BP), and Hindustan Petroleum (HP) have failed to provide petrol to the petrol pumps. According to sources if the oil companies failed to ensure petrol in 2-3 days then 70% of the petrol pumps in J&K and Ladakh will go dry.

The sources also told the UT administration has failed to provide petrol to many petrol pumps. The problem with the petrol shortage started on Thursday evening but due to three day protest demonstrations, till now the effect of the petrol shortage has not been witnessed.

Many petrol pumps in Kathua, Udhampur, and Rajouri do not have a petrol quota while many petrol pumps near the Jammu railway station will go dry in the coming days. The major oil depot in Jammu that provides petrol through tankers to the entire Kashmir and Ladakh and 10 regions of Jammu has refused to provide fresh supplies to Kashmir and other regions in Jammu due to the ongoing shortage.

One of the employees of the oil depot in Jammu said “we are forced to depute the oil tankers to Bathinda and Jalandhar to maintain oil supplies in Punjab”. The sources said that if this agitation continued for a week then J&K and Ladakh may face massive oil crises in the coming days. 

The senior officials of the IOC, BP, and HP have conveyed to the associations and petrol pump owners to send their tankers to Jalandhar and Bathinda instead of Jammu as the local depot doesn’t have enough supplies available. Since 1st October no train carrying petrol-diesel had come to Jammu. In the past, 400 oil carrying tankers daily leave the oil depot from Jammu out of which 50% of the tankers go to Kashmir and Ladakh. Even some supplies to Ladakh are sent through Manali from Jalandhar and Bathinda Depots.

President, of J&K Petrol Dealers Association and Oil Tankers Union head, Anan Sharma said “in Jalandhar IOC depot the oil supplies reach through the pipelines while in Bathinda there is HP depot”. He further said “the government must deal with the problem and ensure free movement of trains in Punjab and other places to overcome the growing petrol crisis”.

Chief Divisional Manager, Bharat Petroleum, Jammu, Rajesh Sharma said “alternative arrangements are being made to overcome the ongoing fuel crisis and supplies are being sent through Bathinda and Jalandhar in Punjab. The tankers from Kashmir and other areas are being asked to move to Punjab to lift the supplies” he added. 

An Executive Member of Kashmir Oil Dealers Association said “Kashmir has started facing the problem of oil shortage and the problem may increase in the next few days. The oil companies have asked the oil dealers to directly depute their tankers to Punjab and not to Jammu depot to lift supplies. Since Bathinda is far from Kashmir, it would further affect the supplies in Kashmir”.

Chief Depot Manager, HP at Jammu Anjum Ahmed Gilani claimed that there is no need to panic over the shortage. He admitted that shortage is faced due to the disruption of trains but the oil companies have made arrangements to bring oil into the UTs by road. He hoped that the government would take an initiative to restore the train services from Punjab.

The farmers are agitating for a week over the 3 farm Bill passed by the central Government of India. The bill was passed to make it easier for farmers to sell their produce directly to the private buyers and make a contract with the private companies. But the opposition parties have called the bills as black laws. The farmers from all over the state had gathered at different places to protest and have stopped the movement of all transport. The farmers also requested the traders to keep their shops closed in the view of an ongoing protest over 3 farm bills. 

The biggest factor for the farmers is the assured income that comes from the MSP mechanism. Opposition says that the mandi system will end due to the new laws and the states will lose their revenue as the farmers will start selling their products outside the mandi. “The private mandi system will be opted by a few farmers and the rest of the farmers will go out of the state to sell their produce” claimed the opposition parties.