LAHORE – Long queues of motorists were seen at filling stations on Sunday evening when owners of the petrol pumps started limited sale of petroleum products after government announced increase in the petroleum prices.

The new prices were supposed to be implemented today (Monday) due to which the petrol pump owners started limited sale on Sunday night to receive increased prices on maximum sale of petrol after 12:00am.

The federal government changed the prices of petroleum products third time within a month, this time petrol price was increased by Rs6.82 per liter. The Oil Marketing Companies (OMCs) asked the government to jack up the price of petrol by Rs6.82/litre, in view of the “upward trend of price in the international oil market”.

Shortage of petrol in the provincial capital hit motorists and drivers hard on Sunday and several citizens resorted to fights and exchanged hot words on getting petrol. The shortage occurred when private pump owners refused to open their stations fully rather they kept only one terminal operational out of four or five only to minimise their petrol sale.

Motorists blamed petrol pump owners for making illegal profits by artificially creating a fuel shortage. At Safanwala Chowk, Ichhra, Sabzazaar Scheme, Saddar, Shahdara, Ravi Road, Garhi Shahu, Dharmpura and Baghbanpura filling stations sold petrol in a very limited quantity due to which citizen had to face problems.

A citizen Aslam who was riding a bike from a filling station said government while announcing the increase in fuel price should also direct the pump owners not to create artificial shortage of petrol.

Another motorist said there must be some department whose staff should check the filling stations that whether they were selling petrol as usual or not. Vehicle owners, who ran out of fuel on the road, faced a difficult situation, and some of them were seen pushing vehicles with their families.

No government functionary was available to curtail the fleecing of motorists by filling stations.  Motorists and travelers appealed to the authorities concerned to take notice of the apathy of petrol pump owners, and to take strict action against them.