Citizens contitnued to queue on Tuesday outside gas stations and butane gas cylinders warehouses, causing increased traffic congestion in many governorates.
In Daqahlia, long lines in front of butane gas warehouses were guarded by the police and the armed forces, while many Mansoura residents complained about the shortage of butane gas cylinders, which provoked quarrels between the inhabitants of Denjway village and Supply Ministry officials.
In Monufiya, dozens of Shobra village residents gathered outside the governorate headquarters to protest the governor'sa decision to shut down the sole warehouse in the area, leading to the aggravation of the crisis and a boosting of black market activity. According to the residents, the price of gas cylinders has reached LE30.
In Qaliubiya, residents complained of warehouse owners coordinating with black market traders to sell the gas at prices higher than the official ones. The security arrested a number of black market traders in the governorate on Tuesday.
In Damietta, the security stopped an attempt to smuggle 20 LPGs destined for the black market. The driver of the seized vehicle was arrested and he confessed to having obtained the cylinders from the governorate's warehouses, to be sold at black market prices. The prosecution took over the investigations.
In Minya, a shortage in diesel fuel has caused increased traffic congestion on Cairo-Aswan agricultural road, when long lines of cars were formed in front of gas stations. The stations' employees have called for a stronger security presence, due to the daily occurrence of fights between the customers.
Two gas station owners in Samallout were arrested before smuggling 6000 liters of subsidized diesel fuel to the black market. The prosecution is investigation the issue.
Chairman of the Petroleum Products Division within the Egyptian Chamber of Commerce, Hossam Arafat, said the pumping rates of LPG and diesel have improved on Tuesday and added that the fuel crisis is expected to be over by April.
Arafat told Al-Masry Al-Youm that the shortage in fuel is more severe in Upper Egypt than in the governorates of Lower Egypt, as the prices of LPG cylinders range between LE30 and LE40 in Upper Egypt. He called for distributing gas cylinders with the use of smart cards as soon as possible.
The Ministry of Supply coordinates with the Ministry of Petroleum to pump additional fuel, above consumption rates in a number of governorates, said the Minister of Supply and Internal Trade Khaled Hanafy. Applying the smart cards system is still being studied, he added.
Edited translation from Al-Masry Al-Youm