We have enough diesel but not enough patience!
“Despite the positive government’s decision to reduce the price of diesel and the happiness that spread between Syrians after this decision, passing by one of the gas stations shows that people translated such a positive decision into a crisis!” those are the words of the Directorate of fuel Supply in Damascus countryside. But, according to drivers on the transportation lines and transportation companies between the provinces, the reasons behind this crisis are the “monopoly of the owners of gas stations and smuggling”
The cabinet issued a resolution to cut 5 SYP of the total price of the diesel liter, and limiting the allowable maximum amounts when filling diesel for the vehicles, and for the cars that travel outside the country.
“After the reduction of diesel prices we are facing big problem to get it and we are having big losses every day. Now we have to refuel our cars with green diesel instead of the red one because it is not available, and when it is available we should wait in line for more than 5 hours to get our share, this waiting is disrupting our work, so to avoid such disrupting we have to buy the green diesel which is too expensive. Yet, we charged passengers according to the new tariffs which are already reduced according to the new prices of diesel. We used to charge 17 SYP, the new tariff is 16 SYP, however, the passengers pay only 15 SYP which means a big loss for us at the end of the day” Abou Ayman microbus driver said.
Abou Mouhamed another microbus driver on a Countryside route said: ”We told the supervisor about the problem, but he answered that the mayors of towns are not concerned about us and our problems.” “We suffer from the monopoly of the owners of the gas stations; they sell it for a higher price or they smuggle it.” He added: ”There are people who come to get diesel in a plastic bottles and gallons to store it for winter, such practices are wrong, we can’t find any diesel in the gas stations and when we drive to other cities they refuse to sell us diesel because we should buy it through the gas stations in our city, that is why we are forced to buy the expensive green diesel.”
Southern provinces are in the dilemma
An employee in Transportation Company said “Our company is suffering too much because of the lack of diesel, not because of the price reduction. The crisis appeared one the week after the reduction. According to the schedule of the company, there must be a trip every half-hour but now, the trips are every one hour, and we can’t start any trip after 12pm due to the lack of diesel, we have canceled all the trips last Thursday because we couldn’t get the fuel from the gas stations to refuel our busses, and yesterday all what we could manage to do was one trip. Actually we know that there are many gas stations that have the ability to sell diesel but in illegal prices, they request 25 SYP instead of 15 SYP!”
Northern provinces are infected too
An office director of one of the transportation companies said: “We are facing many difficulties to find and buy fuel, the thing that could increase this is that some people are using the plastic bottles to but extra diesel after filling their tanks, the lack of diesel caused some cancelations and delayed many trips.
For his part, employees in the same company, said “We forced to buy a diesel tanker and bring it to the garage to fill the busses for the conduct of our affairs, but this is a burden in terms of daily trips, we have 46 trip daily to various northern cities, and by reducing the prices there was no problem to get the diesel, but now, after a week, the situation is bad.”
The head of a department in al-Qaboun Transportation Company said “Most of our trips are delayed due to the lack of diesel, because we had to wait in lines to get our share of diesel, and sometimes we couldn’t find or buy it, so all trips had been canceled, we tried to sign a contracts with some gas stations to provide us with the fuel, but it was pointless, the crisis is everywhere .”
Law does not specify the quantity for each person
“Gas stations facing a strong demand for diesel since the price dropped, SADCOP increased allocations to meet the high demand for diesel, but the shortage still exists.“ According to the workers in the field of transportation.
SADCOP adopted new standards for the distribution of diesel to the gas stations, which based on the need and of an each station in order to achieve fairness among stations, in the same governorate.
“The public demand for diesel fuel has increased after the price drop in a very strange way, yesterday we had to buy the expensive fuel because the gas station ran out of the red diesel, there is no law to identify a specific share of diesel for each person so everyone tries to buy as much as he can. Sometimes the workers in the gas stations refuse to fill more than 50 liter for one person, but not all of the gas stations can do the same, we are facing another problem that the customers are not a drivers or vehicles owners, sometimes we have to sell the diesel for people who came to store it for winter such people we can’t refuse their requests because we don’t have any law to prevent them from buying diesel. “Side Ahmad, a worker in a gas station
Buses’ drivers are the reason behind these crises
To understand what is going on, we visited some official offices in Damascus Countryside. We met the Director of Trade and Economy, Sorour he said: “diesel is available for everyone but the busses’ drivers are refilling their vehicles with extra amounts, and they are buying fuel in a plastic bottles, some of them send their brothers or sons to buy the diesel after refilling the tanks of their bus. This is what caused the lack of diesel, I assure you that there is no monopoly, and we are supervising and controlling the diesel containers from A to Z, and supervise all the gas stations in Syria and their records.“
About smuggling Mr. Sorour said:” the trade and economy office is not supposed to control or to take any procedures against smuggling, we should supervise the tankers as long as they are within the supervision area, but once the drivers change their ways and step out of the located areas, we are allowed to take a specific procedures such as seizing the diesel tankers and arrest the drivers, and we ask SADCOP to stop providing them of any kinds of fuel in the future, I assure you that SADCOP provides more than 63 gas stations with green diesel to meet the growing demands”
Mansour Taha, Fuel Company Branch Manager said “This dilemma is on the way to be solved we provide the gas stations with diesel (green ,and red) no one will feel that there is a shortage any more, in spit, that people started to store diesel for next winter, because they are afraid of experiencing such dilemma in winter, but what they don’t know is that the Official Fuel Company has different strategies for each season so the winter allocations are different from summer ones, so there will not be any lack in diesel this winter everybody should relax.