Fuel stocks in Kashmir take a hit due to farmer protest in Punjab
Srinagar: The farmers’ stir in neighbouring Punjab over controversial farm bill has impacted the fuel supply in Jammu and Kashmir, and Ladakh with stocks start depleting at various filling stations in the two union territories, reports said.
President of the Jammu Kashmir Petroleum Dealers’ Association, Anan Sharma was quoted saying by in a report by Hindustan Times that “not even a single wagon has arrived at Jammu since October 1 from Punjab due to farmers’ stir. Farmers have blocked rail tracks there and until the blockade is lifted, normal supplies cannot be restored in Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh”.
According to the report, the Jammu depot at Jammu railway station has stopped supplying fuel to filling stations in Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh.
“Consequently, 250 oil tankers were dispatched to Jalandhar and Bhatinda on Thursday for bringing fuel. Forty-five tankers, which had left a day before, returned with stocks today but they are also not bringing back full load because distributors in Punjab have to cater to all,” Sharma said in the report.
He added that fuel stations were running short of supplies and the situation can turn critical, if the rail blockade is not lifted and if J&K government doesn’t take up the matter with the Punjab government.
“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 daily to Kashmir from Delhi to take apple consignments. The government has to resolve the issue to restore normal supplies,” he added.
“Four hundred oil tankers used to lift supplies from the Jammu depot daily, which is not the case as of today. Though 100 oil tankers from Manali also reach Leh with supplies, equal number of oil tankers used to ferry supplies from Jammu to Leh on daily basis,” he said.
Out of 400 tankers from Jammu depot, 150 tankers used to cater Jammu region, 100 served Ladakh and 150 were for Kashmir.
However, Rajiv Yadav, state level coordinator of the oil companies — HP, BP and Indian Oil in J&K told the newspaper: “We have mobilized tank lorries from Punjab for the past three days and bringing supplies from Bhatinda, Sangrur and Jalandhar. Some oil tankers reached Jammu today and some are on their way. There is no product crisis in J&K.”
He also claimed that the J & K government has reached out to the Punjab government to resolve the issue.