Rawalpindi - An artificial petrol shortage hit various parts of the city on Wednesday while the motorists protested against the government for its failure to take action against petrol pump owners.

The petrol pump owners have been creating hurdles to provide petrol to the masses. Reportedly, the owners of many filling stations sold the commodity at high rates than the fixed prices. Majority of filling stations was closed.

Long queues of vehicles were witnessed at most of the petrol pumps in various areas of the city.

A large number of consumers, interviewed by The Nation during a survey, said that the petrol pump owners had created an artificial shortage by reducing or suspending the supply.

They said that no body was given petrol as per demand. Incidents of brawls and exchange of heated words also occurred on many filling stations.

Chaudhry Imran Arshad, an IT manager, who was waiting in queue for petrol, said that petrol pump owner was blaming electricity crisis and petrol suppliers for shortage. He said that he had to bring his wife to hospital for medical check up but his car fuel tank was empty and he could not move. “I asked the filler to provide me 5 litres petrol but he refused and only gave me 2.5 litres.”

“We are ready to get petrol at any cost but all in vain,” said Imran Ali, Amir Shehzad, Tahir Khan and Siddique, the motorcyclists while talking to this scribe at Bakra Mandi.

“I have been standing here for the last one hour to get one-litre petrol to go to my office,” said another motorcyclist Khan Muhammad at Soan.

On the other hand, the passengers also faced transport shortage as dozens of commuters were witnessed waiting for public transport at bus stops in many areas. Taxi and rickshaw owners, who had petrol, fleeced the passengers as per their sweet will.