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Cyclone Vardah: Diesel shortage and inability to accept cards ail Chennai fuel stations

CHENNAI: When Sumi Agarwal took out her car on Wednesday, she thought it would be easy to fill diesel in her vehicle. “It’s a distance of less than 6 km from my home in Mandaveli to my workplace at Little Mount. I was confident that I could fill diesel and reach office in time,” said Agarwal.

She hit four fuel stations only to find they were not accepting cards, as online banking services were affected after cyclone Vardah wreaked havoc in Chennai. The petrol bunks had displayed “Only cash” signboards.

When Agarwal finally reached a fuel station which accepted cards, they had run out of diesel. As Chennai lit up with diesel-backed generators on Monday and Tuesday night, vehicle users were finding it difficult to assess fuel.

Indian Oil Corporation Ltd on Wednesday struggled to supply diesel to fuel stations in the city as invoice generation became impossible with internet connectivity down.

“Our vendors have reported a surge in demand for diesel as the state government departments, hospitals and large apartment complexes buy more diesel for their generators. But since internet connectivity has been sketchy, our vendors have not been able to generate invoices,” said an executive of Chennai Petroleum.

The state government has apparently stocked 16,000 litres of diesel as backup for hospitals.

– Indian Times

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