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Highway closure: Fuel crisis hits Kashmir

Srinagar, Feb 26: Massive fuel shortage has hit Kashmir as the Srinagar-Jammu highway continued to remain closed on Tuesday.
The highway, so far this month, has remained closed intermittently due to snowfall, avalanche, and landslides.
With the closure of highway intermittently, the petrol pumps are running dry.
Most of the fuel stations in Srinagar and several parts of Kashmir run dry, leaving commuters in hardships.
Several harried commuters said they tried to refill their vehicles at half a dozen pumps but they are all running dry.
The public is seen queuing for fuel at various places, while some petrol pumps have been closed down. The administration claims that the rationing would stop once another supply of fuel reaches valley.
Meanwhile, Deputy Commissioner Srinagar, Dr Shahid Iqbal Choudhary, as per Kashmir News Service, said that 250 tankers are stranded on Ramban to Banihal road stretch in view of landslides at Mompasi area.
He added the road in Ramban town has also sink, therefore the tankers are still stranded on the highway. “We are monitoring the movement of every vehicle and we are expecting the paucity will end by tomorrow evening. We will see some alternatives in case the things won’t change,” he said.
However, he refuted the rumours, saying some people have apprehensions that there is conspiracy behind the shortage of petrol but “I want to tell them no such conspiracy is there but the condition of Srinagar-Jammu highway has caused such paucity in Kashmir.
“The supply will start arriving by Wednesday evening; therefore the distribution and other things will be done,” he added.
Earlier in the day, Dr Chowdhary convened a meeting to explore means to fast-track transportation of LPG, Diesel, Petrol and other petroleum products in view of frequent disruptions on the National Highway.
ADC K K Sidha, Dy Director FCS&CA Peerzada Zahoor Ahmed, heads of HPCL, BPCL, IOCL and distributor heads attended the meeting.
Discussions were also held with Deputy Commissioners Ramban and Udhampur regarding delays on part of the NHAI with regard to clearance of fleets of tankers.
The meeting was informed that 1500 trucks and tankers are engaged for supplies in entire Kashmir valley including defence, institutional and civilian supplies and all-out efforts are being made by the Oil companies for augmentation of stocks in the Valley in view of 830 trucks stranded along the supply chain. It was informed that more than 100 trucks and tankers carrying fuel and LPG have been cleared while around 250 tankers stuck at Magarkote are expected to move ahead later on Tuesday.