Commotion over fuel black-out, rumour mills ringing

Report by: 
ROOPA LALL
Port Blair
3 Nov 2017

Three words that brought traffic to a standstill at Port Blair “Petrol Nahi Hai!” were the three horrifying words heard by vehicle owners, queuing up at fuel stations to fill up their tanks. Rushing to the next gas station, they confronted the same three terrifying words. Adding fuel to fire, the pump attendants did not have an answer as to when it would be available to the motorwallah’s dismay. Rumour mongers had a field day. Some said the ship carrying petrol will not reach before 5 days. Some blamed the GST for the shortage.
Harried and running out of the golden liquid to run errands, go to office, pick up children from schools etc., everything seemed a distant dream. What if one’s tank dries up mid-way to the destination? Some carrying tourists, some passengers in their autos, would be left high and dry, were bracing to be cursed by the customers. Questions swirled in the mind of vehicle owners; confusion was driving them in circles literally.
EOI Correspondent, who also rides a scooter, and worried it will hamper her reportage work contacted Mr. Prakash Thiru, Chief Terminal Manager, who allayed her fears. “Petrol is tested twice before it is sent to public pumps. There was a glitch this time as the testing parameters were not matching up, therefore it had to be retested and therefore the delay,” he said stamping assurance that pumps would operate normally without any problem by evening.