Fuel supply choke leaves Belagavi motorists in lurch

Fuel supply choke leaves Belagavi motorists in lurch

Motor vehicle drivers in the district stare at a fuel crisis for a few more days, with the technical problem at MRPL hitting the supplies of petrol and diesel.

The no-stock boards in the fuel stations has forced people to line up in front of the couple of bunks where the supplies are available. But here too, the owners are rationing the supply of petrol and diesel, so as to prevent the situation from aggravating.

While bikes and autos are getting petrol worth a maximum of Rs 100, four-wheeler riders are having to make do with supply worth not more than Rs 200. Fuel is being supplied under police security to avoid law and order problems. This apart, the long queues in front of the fuel stations have hampered the smooth flow of traffic on the city roads.

The Mangaluru Refineries and Petrochemical Limited (MRPL), which supplies fuel to three oil companies, had opted for an emergency shutdown due to an undisclosed technical problem. MRPL was shut for nearly 20 days, which badly hit the supply chain. This led to panic buying as fuel stations exhausted their buffer stocks.

Fuel unavailability has hit the entire North Karnataka region, although the three oil companies IOCL, BPCL and HPCL - which have their depots at Desur on the outskirts of Belagavi - are taking all possible measures to tide over the situation. 

The silver lining is that the pressure on diesel supply is expected to ease over the next couple of days, with MRPL resuming operations on April 27. Priority has been given for supplying diesel so that public transport and transportation of essential goods and commodities are not hit. However, fuel stations will continue to sport no-stock boards for petrol at least for the next 10 days, said Vinod Kumar Heggalgi, deputy director of the Food and Civil Supplies department, quoting a senior official of IOCL.

Additional Deputy Commissioner Praveen Kumar G L said that with MRPL resuming operations, supply of petrol and diesel will be streamlined in the next couple of days. He has advised people against panic buying.

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