DI KHAN: The district government initiated a crackdown on Friday against illegal petrol and diesel selling agents set up across DI Khan and arrested five culprits.
The district government and police officials arrested various agents, including Farhan Ahmad, Wasim Khan, Amanullah, Muhammad and another culprit. FIRs against all five were registered and they were shifted to Central Prison DI Khan. During the crackdown, pumping units of various petrol and diesel agencies were confiscated and taken to the tehsil municipal administration office building.
Some people had obtained licences to sell kerosene oil and even paid the government a monthly fee for it. However, they soon then started selling petrol and diesel illegally at these outlets.
Speaking to the media, DI Khan Assistant Commissioner Salman Lodhi said, “Dozens of these illegal agencies were operating and after several complaints from the public, the provincial government directed us to take action to curb the rather dangerous business.” He added the crackdown will continue till all the agencies cease to exist.
“The crackdown will not only be against those who own and operate these illegal businesses but also against those petrol pumps that hoard petrol and diesel, and sell them at higher prices than that set by OGRA,” said Lodhi.
During the operation, a fine of Rs0.3 million was imposed on all petrol pump owners who had hoarded fuel and sold them at higher prices.
The past and present
In May, three people were killed while three others were injured when a fire engulfed a hotel on DI Khan Bypass Road. The fire erupted when a person lit a cigarette in a nearby petrol station. According to the police, three truck drivers, Shahzar Khan, Taib Khan and Suleman lost their lives in the fire.
Purchase of petrol and diesel from these unregistered and illegal setups is rampant in DI Khan. The agencies not only pump them into vehicles but also sell petroleum products openly in polythene bags.
Published in The Express Tribune, October 31st, 2015.