CHENNAI: Tamil Nadu Chief Minister J. Jayalalithaa Tuesday said the acute shortage of petrol and diesel will end in the metropolis as urgent steps are being taken to supply the fuel to the petrol bunks.
In a statement issued here, referring to the review meeting the state government officials had with the oil industry officials, Jayalalithaa said: "Chennai needs 2,100 kilo litres (KL) of petrol and 2,500 KL of diesel per day."
The 67,000 KL of fuel brought by the oil companies through ships will be distributed to the retail outlets immediately so that the fuel shortage in the city comes to an end, she added.
However, during the day several oil outlets remained closed for want of supplies and some had long queues. The oil tankers arrived at Chennai port Tuesday afternoon.
Jayalalithaa also said 2,000 KL of diesel will be brought by road from Bangalore by the oil marketing companies. According to Jayalalithaa, the sudden fuel shortage was due to the closure of Mangalore Refinaries and Petrochemicals unit for 10 days and the non-receipt of fuel by Bharat Petroleum Corporation Ltd (BPCL).
Appreciating the state government's initiative to solve the problem, M. Kannan, president of the Tamil Nadu Petroleum Dealers Association, told IANS: "It was due to the state government's initiative the issue has been sorted out soon." He said some supplies have come Tuesday and the situation is somewhat better.
Queried about the reluctance of dealers to take just petrol, he said: "The oil companies have no answer to the question why they have ran out of diesel. They are blaming the dealers."
He said retail outlets will indent the quantity of fuel based on their requirement and the oil companies cannot insist that they should take full lorry load (12,000 litres) of petrol alone.
"Looking at the suffering of the people, the oil companies could have supplied several bunks with just petrol instead of insisting each outlet accept full load," Kannan said.
Meanwhile V.K. Jaychandran, executive director at Indian Oil Corporation Ltd (IOCL) and the state-level coordinator for oil industry, Tamil Nadu and Puducherry, said one of the coastal tankers carrying 26,000 KL of high-speed diesel (HSD) has berthed at Chennai Port and is currently discharging the product.
In a statement issued here, he said: "A second coastal tanker carrying motor spirit - 7,800 KL petrol and 18,000 KL HSD - has also anchored and is awaiting berthing at Chennai port. The third tanker carrying 6,000 KL HSD has also arrived at Chennai port and will be taken up for discharge as soon as berth space is allotted for it. One more coastal tanker with 7,000 KL of MS and 17,000 KL of HSD is expected in Chennai shortly." According to him, with the Chennai Petroleum Corporation Ltd maintaining normal production, adequate supplies will now be available to normalise diesel supplies in the city.