TODAY -

As uncertainty grips status of blockade call on highways...
Panic buying spreads, many throng petrol pumps

Source: The Sangai Express

Imphal, August 08 2022: Fearing scarcity or unavailability of fuel in the backdrop of ATSUM's indefinite economic blockade, a large number of people thronged some oil pumps till late evening today.

People's fear for possible scarcity of fuel was heightened as some oil pumps ran out of stock this morning.

Even though people thronged oil pumps for petrol, there was no such rush for diesel.

Some oil pumps put up signboards which read 'petrol nil' this morning.

This triggered a sense of panic among the public and a large number of people including school van drivers started lining up at different oil pumps.

The queues extended much longer in the afternoon as more and more people joined them.

At some oil pumps including PCTC North AOC, the queues were so long that they affected vehicular traffic and police had to intervene.

However, the Manager of Malom Oil Depot told The Sangai Express that there is sufficient quantity of petrol in stock.

As people lined up in long queues at oil pumps to buy petrol, black marketers were seen selling petrol at much higher rates.

Meanwhile, CAF&PD Minister Leishangthem Susindro (Yaima) Meitei has appealed to all the people not to indulge in panic buying of essential commodities including fuel.

Speaking to media persons at his Secretariat North Block office this evening, L Susindro maintained that there are sufficient stocks of essential commodities including petroleum products.

The existing stocks of petrol and diesel would last 16 days and 31 days respectively, the CAF&PD Minister said.

He maintained that panic buying would only create more problems.

On being enquired about some oil pumps which remained shut today, Susindro said that the oil pumps might have closed due to excessive buying or due to technical problems.

He said that befitting action would be initiated if the oil pumps had no valid reason for shutting down.

Susindro said that CAF&PD officials and staff would be sent on an inspection drive to oil pumps tomorrow.

If any oil pump is found closed with an ulterior motive to divert fuel to black markets, befitting action including cancellation of licences would be initiated, Susindro said.

Demanding tabling and passing of the Manipur (Hill Areas) ADC Bill 2021, the ATSUM has been imposing an indefinite economic blockade on National Highways and the blockade is being supported by the Kuki Students' Organisation and ANSAM.


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