Oil and Gas Regulatory Authority (OGRA) on Wednesday submitted its report in Lahore High Court (LHC) regarding Ahmedpur Sharqia incident which revealed that the oil tanker, that turned turtle and exploded, was not checked at the terminal by Shell company.
The report exposed that a fake fitness certificate of the oil tanker was used by the company, and the tragedy could have been averted had the tanker been examined before departure.
The report further said the All Pakistan Oil Tankers Owners Association (APOTOA) does not want to use tankers having good quality and only 40 percent of them meet the standards.
Motorway Police DIG Mirza Farhan also submitted his reply in the court, and said the iron sheet of the tanker was of low quality. The recommendations have been forwarded to relevant institutions and federal government in this regard, he remarked.
The government lawyer took the stance in the hearing that the Oil Tankers Association does not follow the rules.
Meanwhile, the APOTOA has announced to end strike after successful negotiations with OGRA. The authorities have assured to resolve the matter in 15 days whereas a committee will also be formed for this purpose. The supply would be restored in 10 to 12 hours as the tankers will start moving following the directives of the representatives.
On the other hand, several cities including Karachi and Quetta are facing dearth of petroleum due to the strike. Only few are providing the fuel with observing long queues. The public transports are also in short number on the roads.
Petrol stations in Multan had mostly run out of fuel, while in Peshawar and other cities rationing petrol purchases were limited to 1,000 rupees per car and 100 rupees per motorbike.
Earlier, talks between APOTOA and OGRA failed after which the strike was decided to continue until demands are met. Spokesperson for the OGRA Imran Ghaznavi said that the government would not be ‘blackmailed’ at hands of the association.
The authorities clearly said that they will supply petrol to the stations through trains and NLC if tankers owners will not call off their strike. OGRA and authorities concerned had tightened noose around oil companies and the association of oil tankers after Ahmedpur tragedy.
An explosion took place in Ahmedpur Sharqia when an oil tanker carrying 50,000 litres of inflammable oil overturned and people started scooping up spilled fuel. With a couple of hundreds of people gathered, the leaking tanker caught fire causing a blast followed with a blaze. More than two hundred people lost their lives just a day before Eid in the tragic incident.