KARACHI (Monitoring Desk): The Supreme Court has given 15 days to all oil tankers in Karachi to shift to the Zulfikarabad oil terminal.
“After 15 days, Rangers and police officials will shift oil tankers from terminals within Karachi to Zulfikarabad oil terminal,” Justice Gulzar Ahmed said while heading a two-member bench at Supreme Court’s Karachi Registry on Saturday.
The court was hearing a petition filed by Shagufta Bibi, a resident of Clifton’s Block-I, who requested the Chief Justice of Pakistan to order shifting of the oil tankers’ terminal from her locality. Her letter was later converted into a constitutional petition.
During the hearing, the counsel of Karachi Metropolitan Corporation (KMC) informed the court that Zulfikarabad terminal has been completed and is operational.
“Oil tanker owners are not ready to shift to Zulfikarabad,” KMC’s counsel further said.
To this, Justice Ahmed responded, “Then ask police to throw oil tankers out of the city.”
“Does the government not have oil wells?” the justice questioned.
The court further observed, “If they [oil tanker owners] do not work, then oil companies should stop supplying oil to them.”
Justice Ahmed said, “We now have the option of China available.”
“We advise the government of Pakistan to speak to China and sign a contract regarding the provision of oil tankers,” the justice further said.
“But we will not allow oil tankers to enter the city,” Justice Ahmed added.
However, All Pakistan Oil Tankers Owners Association chairman Yousuf Shahwani told court, “We are ready to shift to Zulfikarabad.”
The bench responded to Shahwani by asking him to move to the Zulfikarabad oil terminal within a week.
“Should we build a palace for oil tanker owners or put diamonds on the Zulfiqarabad terminal?” Justice Ahmed asked.
Last year in July, the court had ordered that all oil tankers in Karachi should immediately be transferred to Zulfikarabad oil terminal and a report should be submitted on July 28.
On July 7, the court had directed KMC to make the Zulfikarabad oil terminal operational within a week and shift all oil tankers from Karachi’s Shireen Jinnah Colony and other adjacent areas to the designated terminal.