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Acute fuel shortage and the panic situation in Chennai!

Over the last 4 days, Chennai is experiencing acute shortage of petrol and diesel resulting in total panic and chaos near the fuel stations. The Petrol Pump Owners Association claims that the Oil Marketing companies have reduced the supply by 50% over the last 4 days. The first two days of reduced supply didnt have much impact as it fell on a weekend and come Monday, there was utter chaos. With there is real shortage of diesel, the people started becoming worried about the availability of petrol and started filling the tanks.
People waited for more than 45 minutes to 1 hour to get their tanks filled up against the normal time of 2-3 minutes. As it is the case with any scarcity, black marketing was at full speed, with diesel being sold at as high as Rs80/- per litre. I was told that Shell petrol pumps have yesterday sold diesel in their petrol pumps at Rs66/- per litre officially, which is a good Rs27/- more than the official Government price. The problem is getting accentuated because of the Transport Lorry Owners Association strike call which starts on Tuesday. With the lorry strike also on the horizon, the threat of real scarcity is looming large.

The senior State Government officials have had a discussion with the Oil Marketing Companies staff yesterday and have asked them to increase the supply. It is reported that there is a delay in arrival of a tanker ship at Chennai port which is causing the delay. In my company, the pick-up and drop facility which is usually provided for people who come to office before 7.00 AM and leave after 8.30 PM has been already suspended for the day. Many BPO's and IT companies have been working overnight trying to rejig the transport route map so that the employees are least affected. But most of the companies have declared that the staff have to make their own arrangements to come to office today and till further notice.

When I step out of my office and have a look at the road, I see a very minimal traffic inspite of today being a working day. The number of vehicles on the road has gone down drastically. Where all this going to end is a big question mark?

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