VELLORE: For the past ten days, petrol stations in Vellore district have been experiencing severe shortage of petrol and diesel. However, the public has been complaining that the bunks are hiding stock, only to release it when the prices go up again. Petroleum dealers in the district claim shortage of fuel supply.
Shankar, a regular customer of a petrol bunk at Katpadi Road said that following the list of demands from the petroleum companies to the Central government, it is expected that the prices of the petroleum products would go up and supply of products from the oil companies is likely to come down.
The shortage of petrol is due to the black-marketing game being played by the petrol dealers and thereby the bunks, claims Ravichandran, who is a marketing executive and fills a litre of petrol every day. Also, diesel is reportedly not being filled for more than `500 in some of the bunks.
Last week, the bunks at Old Katpadi Road, Arcot Road, Anna Salai, near Vellore new bus stand, Sathuvachari witnessed severe fuel crisis due to lack of regular supply.
A salesman in a petrol bunk at Arcot Road said, “There has been no petrol supply for us for the last few days and so we had to adjust by supplying meagre amount of fuel to all, with the available stock”.
According to the president of Vellore District Petroleum Dealers Association,
S Arunodhayam, Vellore district receives petrol from three oil companies, Hindustan Petroleum, Bharat Petroleum and Indian Oil. He said that there were around 143 petrol bunks in the district and the petrol and diesel consumption by these bunks per month is around 72,38,000 litres and 2,10,53,000 litres respectively.
Regarding the shortage of supply, he said, an internal problem between two companies has resulted in short supply of fuel from one of the companies. There are around 45 bunks in the district that rely on fuel supply from this particular company. At present, supply from Mangalore and Vishakapatnam are the worst affected. The problem would soon be resolved and the regular supply would be resumed in the next few days.
Arunodhayam said that even in these 45 bunks, there can’t be complaints of ‘no stock’ as every bunk maintains a stock of nearly 30,000 to 40,000 litres, with which the situation can be tackled for two to three days.
He said that the oil companies are demanding a hike of `10 for petrol, including 30 per cent tax. However, talks between the officials concerned would be held and a hike of `3 or `4 is expected.