Recently, Sayed al-Arabi, 38- year- old Egyptian bus driver, has to spend a long time waiting in long queues on the mornings to buy diesel for his bus, a result of Egypt's diesel shortage.
"Many hours of the day are consumed in such queues, which decreases the time available for me to serve customers and therefore affects my daily income," the bus driver on the capital Cairo's Maadi-Nasr City line complained to Xinhua, adding that he had to increase bus fare to compensate the loss.
The diesel shortage dealt a further blow to Egypt's economic
crisis and added to ordinary people's anguish.
"Before, I paid 150 piasters (about 0.22 U.S. dollars) for
the way from Maadi to Nasr city, but two days ago the bus drivers
increased the fare to 200 piasters (0.30 dollars), citing that
diesel prices had increased," Khaled al-Tayyeb, 40 years old,
told Xinhua, noting that more than one third of his "poor" salary
is drained in his daily transportation.
In March, Egypt often suffers from diesel shortage due to
increasing use of fuel for wheat harvesting. However, such
shortage has become frequent in other seasons as well, drawing
complaints from drivers and other citizens.
"We already struggle daily for earning bread, and now the
diesel crisis adds to our misery by making us stand in long
queues every day," said Abdel Hakeem Elwan, 50- year-old bus
driver on the Dar Elsalam-Downtown line in Cairo.
"I don't have any problem if bus drivers want to increase the
fare, but I find it hard to find a bus to carry me to work every
morning. There are less buses in the morning, as drivers are
waiting in long queues to buy diesel," 29-year-old teacher
Haitham Mohamed told Xinhua.
With gas stations and nearby roads overcrowded by buses and
trucks, residents have to put up with severe traffic jam in
Hamdy Mohammady, a bus driver, told Xinhua that "I spend at
least three hours at the gas station every two days."
"I came here two hours ago, and I think I will stay longer.
This is hard mission every day," said Mohsen Kafeel, a truck
driver, during his pause at a gas station, adding that this time
spent at the station would lead him to increase the fare for the
"The best way of transportation now is metro, as both its
fare and time schedule are stable. Unfortunately, it doesn't
reach every place of the capital," said Mostafa Yousef, a
Egyptian Petroleum Minister Osama Kamal said at an energy
conference on Tuesday that Egypt currently "finds itself in the
midst of a diesel crisis," as a result of high levels of
smuggling that disrupt supplies.
Local newspapers reported that the diesel crisis is also
deepening in other governorates other than the capital, including
Giza, Dqahleya and Gharbeya.
According to Minister Kamal, the Ministry of Petroleum
planned to re-rout fuel shipments so as to solve the "real
problem" of unbalanced distribution.
CAIRO, Feb. 14 (BSS/Xinhua)