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Filling stations in Punjab, Islamabad to be shut down



ISLAMABAD: Hapless people already bearing the brunt of hour long load shedding should now make necessary arrangements of fuel to run their vehicles in the coming days as closure of petrol pumps and CNG (Compressed Natural Gas) filling stations in Punjab including the federal capital is likely during the next week, officials said. Long queues of panicked commuters were witnessed in the twin cities on Friday as news of possible closure of petrol pumps in the next week spread rapidly across the nook and corner of Rawalpindi and Islamabad.
In this regard, the government has made necessary preparations as owners of the pumps have been secretly directed to shut down during the upcoming week, sources told Daily Times on Friday.
Owing to PTI’s call for ‘Azadi March’ and sit-in scheduled on August 14 in Islamabad against the alleged massive rigging made in the recent general elections 2013, the government has secretly directed owners of petrol pumps and CNG filling stations located in Punjab including Islamabad, Rawalpindi, Lahore, Gujrat, Sialkot, Gujranwala and etc to suspend business activities during the upcoming week; and, district administration of each district of Punjab has conveyed directions of the government to owners in this regard. “However, the duration of closure of filling stations is so far unclear as it was not decided depending on the situation,” they added.
Reportedly, reduced supply of petroleum products (POL) to the petrol pumps located in various parts of the country has been initiated systematically. Hapless people along with owners of petrol pumps in different areas were found complaining against the scarcity of POL products.
The sources also said that few petrol pumps, however, would remain open during the next week only to ensure fuel supply for the official vehicles. It was also learnt following an application of the government of Punjab, to avoid any untoward incident of terrorism, mobile service was to be suspended in various districts of Punjab on ‘Azadi March’ and PTI’s sit-in.
Official sources said that the Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA) was advised to consult all cellular mobile operators (CMOs) regarding closure of mobile phone service in different districts of Punjab in accordance with provincial government’s plan. The PTA has also been advised to share the schedule of closure of mobile service with the government.
Meanwhile, in a statement, Petroleum Ministry said that Pakistan State Oil (PSO) is moving products (POL) from Karachi to overcome panic buying as ample stocks of high speed diesel (HSD) are available at all locations and all the orders received were executed. 

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