Odisha Sun Times Bureau
Bhubaneswar, May 26:
Reports of a possible fuel crisis due to delayed arrival of a ship carrying Bharat Petroleum Corporation Limited (BPCL) stock panic among vehicle owners and led to unusually long queues at filling stations across Odisha, including the capital city of Bhubaneswar yesterday.
As per sources, a ship carrying oil for Bharat Petroleum Corporation Limited (BPCL) was supposed to arrive at Paradip port on Friday, but was delayed by two days leading to BPCL filling stations in the city going dry by yesterday.
The temporary suspension of supplies to BPCL tanks created pressure on Indian Oil and Hindustan Petroleum bunks. Ruumors of crisis situation in fuel supply soon started doing the rounds leading to panic buying by vehicle owners, who waited in long queues to get a tankful of fuel for days to come.
The ship, however, arrived at the port yesterday and petrol supply has been normalized at most BPCL filling stations. Diesel supply is also expected to be normalized by the end of today, BPCL sources said.
“Two of the filling stations in Bhubaneswar were closed yesterday. While the Hindustan Petroleum (HP) filling station near Ram Mandir square was closed for maintenance, the all-important Rehman filling station near Rasulgarh ran out of fuel. Rehman filling station caters to the demand of a large number of customers in the city and highway traffic and fuel shortage there affected business at other filling stations,” said Sanjay Lath, General Secretary of Utkal Petroleum Dealer Association.
“Four of the oil refineries of India are being upgraded to Euro-IV standard affecting fuel supply in the country. While North and Western India have already been affected because of this upgrade, Odisha remains less affected because of its coastal location and access to sea routes. The state usually receives oil from Mangalore, Kochi and Assam,” he added.
While there are about 300 filling stations of BPCL in the state, eight of them are in Bhubaneswar. The delayed arrival of the tanker affected about 150 of BPCL filling stations throughout the state.
Out of the total fuel sales in the state, Indian Oil has a 40 percent market share, BPCL has 31 percent and HP 29 percent. Overall, the state consumes 6.37 Lakh Kilo litres of petrol and 18.2 Lakh Kilo litres of diesel.