QUETTA -Protesters took to the streets and blocked Zarghoon Road on Saturday to protest against shortage of petrol at filling stations which has increased the miseries of people living in Quetta. Protesters encircled a petrol pump which caused a traffic jam. They were chanting slogans and urging for immediate ending of artificial shortage of petrol. There were long rows of vehicles at two petrol pumps where petrol was available and people were anxiously waiting for their turn to get petrol. Due to heavy rush many people scuffled with each other and most of people had to return without getting fuel despite waiting for long hours. It may be mentioned that Quetta and some other towns of Balochistan were facing shortage of petrol for the last 15 days, however, now the situation has worsened and forced the people to purchase Iranian petrol. The recent shortage of petrol in pumps is fully benefitting the mini-petrol pumps owners who are selling Iranian smuggled petrol. One litre of Iranian petrol was being sold at Rs 57 per litre, but after shortage of petrol price of one litre has reached to Rs 110. While on the other hand, the district administration and police are watching as silent spectator instead of taking any action against artificial shortage of petrol. A mini-petrol pump owner on condition of anonymity said that they pay money for selling Iranian petrol and ,added, that there were dozens of mini-petrol pumps around the City. When asked about high-price, he said that they had insufficient stock of petrol while the demand was increasing. The shortage of petrol has also badly affected govt's low-paid employees as they had to spend more to get petrol. Javed Ali and Manzoor Ahmad told TheNation that they were govt employees and they had been waiting for the last two hours to refuel their motorbikes. They said, they cannot purchase Iranian petrol because manifold increase in its price. Malik Afzal Awan a petrol pump owner, told The Nation that the govt had not paid the bills of oil companies causing immense shortage of petrol in Quetta and other areas of the province. He expressed apprehension that if govt did not take serious steps in this regard the situation would worsen. However, CM Balochistan has strictly taken notice of shortage of petrol in pumps and directed DCO Quetta to call a meeting of all provincial heads of oil companies to discuss the issue and ensure the availability of petrol at all pumps.