Chennai Rains: 'No Stock' Signs Go Up At Filling Stations As City Tackles Acute Fuel Shortage

05/12/2015 12:34 PM IST | Updated 15/07/2016 8:25 AM IST
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A car is submerged amidst water-logged houses in a rain-hit area of Chennai on November 17, 2015. India has deployed the army and air force to rescue flood-hit residents in the southern state of Tamil Nadu, where at least 71 people have died in around a week of torrential rains. AFP PHOTO (Photo credit should read STR/AFP/Getty Images)

With the sun out, Chennai is slowly getting back to normal. But, those who are trying to get out of the city, taking advantage of the improved climate are stuck. The city has come under the grip of a severe shortage of diesel and petrol. Many motorists are putting up with the “no fuel stock” signage at filling stations.

"We’re a four-member family. We’re totally exhausted with all that happened during the last few days. All we want now is to get out of the city,” said S.K. Krishnadas who lives with his wife and four children near Velachery. Krishnadas has not been able find an ounce of diesel.

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"There’s no stock of fuel in most stations. Wherever a little bit is available, you have long queues and they don’t give you the quantity you want. It’s like rationing,” Krishnadas lamented.

G. Sambasivam, a fuel station official near Nandanam, said the current fuel crisis is the product of panic-purchase. “When rains started, many people started stocking in excess,” he told the HuffPost India.

Fuel has become the most sought-after essential during the last few days in Chennai thanks to the power cut imposed by the state government.

"We’re forced to buy more diesel as we have to operate our generators to keep the office running. Mine is a small office. But, think about larger offices,” N.Senthilkumar, who’s into realty sector, pointed out.

Like Krishnadas, there are many who want to escape Chennai for a few days. But, there are also others who came to Chennai on business and got stranded.

Mahesh Menon travelled to Chennai from Kochi to attend a medical conference. Generally, he takes a train or flies down to Chennai.

“This time around, for a change, I thought I would drive down. Looking back, I now know, it was a bad decision. I’ve been stranded in Chennai for the last 5 days,” Menon said.

Menon, who works for a pharmaceutical company, says now is the time for him to get out of Chennai as rains have stopped and his car did not sustain much damage due to rains.

"But, I’m not able to get fuel. I could’ve taken a bus. But, what would I do with my car? Where would I park it? If only I could find a little fuel…But, I don’t see any hope,” he said.

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