Vol. 5 Num 923 Sun. December 31, 2006  
Front Page

Closure of Oil Depots
Fuel pumps to run dry on last two days of Eid

The government decision to keep all oil depots closed for five days from December 29 to January 2 for Eid-ul-Azha will lead to drying up of the petrol pumps on the last two days.

"Our petrol pumps do not have the capacity to stock oil reserve for five days. So, if the oil supply remains closed for five days, the country will face severe oil crisis during the Eid," Mohammad Nazmul Hoque, president of Bangladesh Petrol Pump Owners' Association, said yesterday.

The petrol pump owners from across the country yesterday protested the government decision, saying the transport, business and agriculture system of the county will shut down due to a dearth of fuel during this period.

They also urged the government to keep the oil depots open for today so that the distributors can collect sufficient oil for supply up to January 2.

At a press conference in the capital yesterday the association leaders said if the decision is not changed, the rawhide business during Eid-ul-Azha will suffer severely due to the unavailability of fuel.

"We will not be responsible if the transport system suffers due to the fuel oil crisis," Nazmul Hoque said, adding that it is "unique" to keep oil depots closed for five days in a row.

He said there is no example in the world of keeping oil depots closed for such a long time at a stretch and urged the government to keep the oil depots open at least for today.

Meanwhile, our Sylhet correspondent reported that at least 10 filling stations in the city and around were shut down yesterday due to a crisis of petroleum products.

Hundreds of oil tankers could not collect oil as the Padma and Jamuna oil companies did not supply fuel yesterday.

Owners of filling stations in Sylhet expressed dissatisfaction over the government decision to keep oil depots closed for five days.

Mohsinur Rashid, president of Sylhet Division Petroleum Dealers, Agents and Distributors' Association, said oil supply had almost come to a stop five days ago because of poor storage of Padma and Jamuna oil depots in Sylhet.

He demanded that the oil company offices remain open for supplying oil for at least another day ahead of the Eid vacation.

An official of Bangladesh Petroleum Corporation, meanwhile, said the supply of diesel was brought down by at least 20-50 percent in the last six months on the apprehension of smuggling.