Afghanistan: Drivers in Zabul express concerns over low-quality fuel affecting vehicles

Many drivers in Zabul province in the southern part of the country on Monday voiced their frustrations regarding the widespread availability of low-quality fuel in the local market, which is adversely impacting their daily operations.

These drivers called on Taliban officials to take measures to prevent the circulation of substandard gasoline and diesel within the province.

Qalat city, the provincial capital of Zabul, serves as a bustling transit hub for hundreds of vehicles that traverse the route between Kandahar and Kabul on a daily basis.

Habibullah, one of the drivers operating in Zabul, expressed his concerns, stating, “The fuel that we use is of low quality and frequently damages my vehicle. I implore the government to intervene and halt the import of inferior fuel into the country.”

Abdul Samad, another driver in Zabul, concurred, saying, “The subpar fuel significantly harms our vehicles, often necessitating repairs to certain parts due to its use.”

Meanwhile, the head of a union representing fuel sellers in Zabul acknowledged the drivers’ grievances. He explained that the lack of qualified professionals to address this issue has allowed the influx of low-quality oil to persist in the province.

“Those engaged in importing and selling fuel should have a clear understanding of which type of fuel is suitable for different types of vehicles,” emphasized Nasir Kakar, the head of the union.

However, local Taliban officials have contested the claims, asserting that efforts are underway to import higher-quality oil.

Muhabullah Hamas, the deputy governor of the Taliban for Zabul, stated, “This fuel undergoes inspection by the National Standard Department, and we have not identified any issues. If problems arise, we address them promptly.”

The National Standard Department’s limited presence and the failure to curtail the influx of low-quality oil have long been subjects of criticism in the region.

Currently, the market price for one liter of petrol stands at 66 Afghanis, with one liter of diesel priced at 63 Afghanis.