The Oil Tankers Association has resumed fuel supplies after getting relaxation from the government that they will upgrade and improve the safety standards of the vehicles carrying oil in 15 days. However, the three-day strike not only washed away millions of man-hours but also caused millions of rupees losses to the national economy. The situation has clearly exposed the frailty of the government that it is unable to implement a fair order. The officials of the Oil and Gas Regulatory Authority have also woken up after years of deep slumber only to reveal that half of the fuel tankers carrying highly inflammable substances do not meet the safety requirements. The recent deaths of 200 people in oil tanker incident at Ahmedpur East is not the one of its kind as over 100 people were killed earlier in another incident near Jhang and the government could not do anything to implement the safety standards. The oil tankers have now ended the strike, but it will take some time to normalize the fuel supplies as the citizens are still standing in queues to fill their vehicle tanks.
Reports suggest the authorities have relaxed safety standards for oil tankers, but made it clear that oil marketing companies will be held responsible for any future mishap. Despite tall claims by the government authorities that they would not allow the tankers to come on roads without safety measures ended in smoke after the fuel stations began to dry up across the country. Earlier in 2009, the government had laid down safety and quality guidelines for transportation of inflammable material but had failed to implement the same in letter and spirit. It is yet to be seen how the government will enforce the safety law which requires fixation of additional axles to the oil tankers to support and stabilize the body weight balanced their movements.
The All Pakistan Oil Tankers Owners Association has refused to bow to the government pressure or follow anytime frame. The country is already facing political mess and the strike by oil tankers have added insult to injury. It is hoped that all sides will work together to minimize the sufferings of this nation. The International Monetary Fund and other world agencies have already announced that the economy of Pakistan will be slowed down next year.