Rawalpindi - The artificial shortage of petrol remained continued in the city with no action on the part of government against the petrol mafia while tens of hundreds of car, motorcycle, rickshaw, taxi cab and other public transport vehicles owners faced huge difficulties in getting the commodity to move on roads.

Many petrol pump owners suspended the supply of petrol in various parts of the city whereas long queues of vehicles and motorcyclists would be witnessed outside the filling stations which were opened and providing the fuel to consumers.

The long queues of vehicles outside filling stations also triggered a massive traffic gridlock on many small and big roads.

The attendance in schools, colleges, universities and offices remained thin owing to suspension of fuel to the people using vehicles for travel in the city. People, including students denounced the criminal mum of federal and provincial governments and Federal Minister for Petroleum and Natural Resources over the persisting shortage of fuel.

According to a visit paid by this scribe on Thursday, it was witnessed that the vehicle owners and motorcyclists were running from one to another filling station to get even a few liters fuel to start the engine of their four and two wheelers.

A huge rush of motorcyclists and vehicles could be seen at filling stations located in Punj Sarki, Saddr, RA Bazaar, Mareer Chowk, Mareer Hassan, Tipu Road, Airport Road, Rawal Road, Commercial Market, 6th Road, Saidpur Road, Asghar Mall Scheme, Double Road, Pirwadhai, Misrial Road, Chakra, Dhoke Syedan Road, Bakra Mandi, Dheri Hassanabad, Tulsa Chowk, Mubarak Lane, Rukhshanda Masjid, Morgah, Katcheri, Al Shifa, Behria Town Stop, Humak, Model Town, Rawat, Mandra, Chakwal Road, Jalti, Sohawa and Jhelum and on other  filling stations located along with GT Road.

Talking to The Nation, Sardar Aftab, a resident of Gulshanabad, said that he had been standing in a long queue outside PSO Pump on Adyala Road for last three hours but could not get petrol.

He said that her daughter could not go to school as there was no fuel in his car to drop her to school.

He said that the petrol mafia wanted the government to increase the price of fuel while the government is seemingly bowing before the illegal demands of the mafia.

Abdul Nadim, a driver of a media man, said that he could only get a few liters of petrol from a pump located on The Mall Road after waiting for almost three hours.

Saira Rajpoot, a lecturer in a private university, whose car stopped in the middle of the road at Tulsa Chowl after finishing petrol in fuel tank, said that she could not attend her important classes in university.

She said that she had called her brother to come on motorbike to take her back to home. “I will have to leave my car on the road as there is no petrol in the fuel tank to run it,” she added.

On the other hand, commuters wrestled with filling station owners and fillers in several areas on issue of petrol. Public transport remained off the roads with passengers kept waiting for transport on bus stops.

The citizens blasted Prime Minister Mian Nawaz Sharif, Federal Minister for Petroleum and Natural Resources Shahid Khaqan Abbasi and Chief Minister Punjab Mian Shehbaz Sharif for keeping criminal mum over the fuel shortage created by the petrol pumps mafia. “Look at PM and CM. Both are busy in foreign trips and are not taking care of their masses. They should step down from their offices if they can not run the affairs of state,” said Muzaffar Ali, a student of political science in a government-run college, who was also pushing his motorcycle in search of petrol at Asghar Mall Scheme.  The cell phones of Federal Minister for Petroleum and Natural Resources Shahid Khaqan Abbasi and his PA Hafiz Usman were switched off when this scribe dialled their mobile numbers to know their point of view on the artificial shortage of fuel.