Rawalpindi - While no one in the government seems in mood to take action against the oil companies and petrol pump owners, the petrol crisis deepened in the division, multiplying the miseries of thousands of vehicles and motorcycles owners.

Taking advantage of criminal mum of the government and petroleum minister, the petrol mafia in many places reportedly started selling the commodity against Rs130 per liter.  Meanwhile, many people thronged petrol agencies in several areas and bought the petrol at very high prices.

Except a few filling stations in the division, most of the petrol pumps have been closed. Long queues of vehicles and motorcycles could be witnessed outside the petrol pumps where the commodity was available. In Behria Town, the owners of all the three petrol pumps suspended the petrol supply to commuters triggering a massive protest by the vehicles owners. The fuel shortage also proved lethal for patients as several ambulances stopped in the middle of the roads while carrying patients when petrol finished in the tanks.

The very charged people, including the government employees, lawyers, businessmen, traders, students, public transporters and even woman and young girls, who are running from one to another place to get petrol, started chanting the most popular slogan “Go Nawaz Go” and “Go Shahid Khaqan Abbasi Go”.

According to a survey, conducted by The Nation on Friday, the filling stations were shut down and provision of petrol was suspended to consumers at Gujar Khan, on Chakwal Road, Sohawa, Rawat, Humak, Model Town, T Chowk, Behria Town Stop, Soan, Katcheri, Adyala Road, Mubarak Lane, Jarahi, Rukhshanda Masjid, Tulsa, Dhoke Syedan, Girja Road, Bakra Mandi, Chakri Road, Asghar Mall Scheme, Raja Bazaar, Commercial Market, IJP Road and in Fauji Colony.

However, tens of hundreds of owners of cars, Suzuki vans, rickshaws, mini wagons, taxi cabs and motorcycles are queuing up for getting petrol outside Punj Sarki, CSD, PSO Pump of The Mall and in Jhanda Cheechi.

In Shalley Valley, a man took out his pistol and started aerial firing when the filler told him that the owner had asked them to suspend petrol supply. According to an eyewitness told that a man who was waiting for petrol along with his family in long queue resorted to aerial firing at a pump in Shalley Valley when he was told that petrol was finished.

Khurram Shehzad, who works in a hotel in Islamabad, said that he arrived in Punj Sarki from Rawat to get petrol. “All the pumps in Rawat and along with GT Road are closed and petrol is not available anywhere,” he added. He in a very angry tone said that PML-N has badly failed in mitigating problems being faced by the people. He chanted slogan “Go Nawaz Go” while cursing the government. “I have been running my car with reserve for the last three days. Today I cannot go office. Petrol supply has been suspended on Adyala Road. Now here my turn came after three hours,” said Afshan, who was lining up with her mother in the car outside a filling station. She said that the performance of Nawaz was zero and he should step down from his office.

Chanting slogans “Go Nawaz Go” and “Go Khaqan Abbasi Go,” Syed Wilayat, a public transporter, Asim, a student and Mamoon, tailor by profession, said that they have been running from one filling station to other for filling their bike tanks with petrol but in vain. They said that all the petrol pumps in Bakra Mandi, Chuhur Chopal, Dhoke Syedan, Chakri Road and in Pirwadhai have been closed and they came at Punj Sarki to get petrol.

“It seems we are living on the moon where there is no gas, electricity, petrol, water and other facilities available,” said Abid, a businessman while talking to The Nation at a filling station in Jhanda Cheechi.

He lashed out at the N-League and said, “All the N-League politicians and ministers are goons and looters and have good links with petrol and oil company mafia. No body is taking action against the owners of pumps who are creating artificial shortage,” he said.

M Tauqeer, a property dealer in Behria Town, told this scribe that the owners have closed petrol pumps in Behria Town, triggering a protest among the commuters. He said that his car stopped on the road as petrol finished in the tank. “What will I do now? Petrol is not available anywhere. The government should resolve the issue,” he said.

Similarly, the public transport remained off the roads creating troubles for passengers across the division.  Federal Minister for Petroleum and Natural Resources Shahid Khaqan Abbasi ditched the phone call of this scribe many times, when he was contacted to know his official version on artificial shortage of petrol in the division.