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Hit & Run Law: Long queues at petrol pumps, Govt downplays ‘fuel crisis’

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The protests and strikes by truck drivers in different parts of India have reportedly led to a fuel shortage in Kashmir Valley, though the government downplayed the reports stating that there is enough stock and no shortage of petrol.

Long queues at petrol pumps were seen in Valley particularly in Srinagar as truckers protested against hit-and-run law,  thus affecting supply.

Truck and bus drivers are carrying out strikes in different parts of India to oppose the provision of a Rs 7 lakh penalty and a 10-year jail term for hit-and-run cases under the newly-passed Bharatiya Nyaya Sanhita.

The new law, which repealed the British-era Indian Penal Code (IPC), provides up to 10 years of punishment for fleeing an accident spot and not reporting the incident. Earlier, the accused could be jailed only for up to two years under Section 304A of the IPC (causing death by negligence).

General Secretary, Jammu Kashmir Transporters Welfare Association told the news agency Kashmir News Trust that this was bound to happen. He said the ’black law’ that is being imposed upon us should be withdrawn immediately. “We will be part of any strike call forwarded by anyone in this regard,” he added.

The Kashmir Trade Alliance (KTA) appealed to the government, urging prompt attention to the concerns of transporters, to avoid a potential disruption in the supply chain.

Aijaz Shahdhar, President, KTA, voiced the apprehensions of the business community, stating that fuel stations are currently witnessing an unprecedented surge of consumers. There is growing concern that the impending strike could severely hamper the supply of petroleum products, impacting not only the daily lives of residents but also dealing a significant blow to businesses heavily reliant on external supplies.

One of the fuel station owners, Zahoor Ahmed said that petrol pumps are running short of fuel. “Most of the fuel station owners didn’t procure the petrol after they received the report that petrol prices may be slashed. Now, the strikes from drivers have made things more messy. There is petrol available but keeping the demand into account there may be an acute shortage of fuel in the coming days.

Meanwhile, Divisional Commissioner Kashmir Vijay Kumar Bhiduri claimed that there is no scarcity of fuel in the Valley and there is no need to panic. [KNT]




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