Pakistan fuel tanker owners end strike

Oil tankers association has called for nationwide boycott of oil supply

The Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Resources had convened the meeting of representatives of the APOTA, All Pakistan Carriage Contractors Association (APCCA) and oil marketing companies (OMCs) to convince the oil tanker owners to call off the strike.

He said the oil tankers' association went on strike after penalties imposed on the oil tankers carrying more fuel than the actual capacity.

Mohammad Akram, a motorcyclist in Saddar, said he wanted to buy petrol in case of an emergency after reports in the media that the strike would continue for days.

Replying to a query regarding the Bahawalpur oil tanker accident, he said the company or the oil tanker was not responsible for the incident but it was the people who were stealing oil who were actually responsible for the loss of lives.

According to OGRA, the oil tanker owners compromise on quality to reduce the cost by using thin sheet of metal for tankers' manufacturing as it costs Rs15 million to manufacture a tanker as per the quality standard.

The three-day strike has already caused huge problems for the people across the Country as they failed to find Oil for their vehicles in Petrol Stations, many of those had been shut.

Pakistan's safety regulator suspected oil marketing companies were backing the strike and would "expose" the firms, its spokesman said.

"It is better to fill the tank", said Waseem Sheikh, one of hundreds queuing at a Shell petrol station in Islamabad, the capital.

Shamas Shiwani, Vice Chairman All Pakistan Tankers Association, told that the motorway, traffic and excise police always demand bribes so a "tanker driver has to pay so much in extortion that he hardly manages to keep his clothes".

It is worth mentioning here that an explosion took place in Ahmedpur Sharqia when an oil tanker overturned and people started scooping up spilled fuel.

Government officials say safety has to improve in a country where few trucks are roadworthy, posing a danger to the public.

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