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Man blocks entrance to mayor's office in protest against gasoline deficit in Kazakhstan 29 августа 2014, 19:57

A young man has blocked the entrance to the mayor's office with his car in the city of Uralsk in western Kazakhstan. His motifs?
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Photo courtesy of <a href="http://www.uralskweek.kz/" target="_blank">Uralsk Week</a>. Photo courtesy of Uralsk Week.

A young man has blocked the entrance to the administration of the West Kazakhstan Oblast with his car in a show of protest against the gasoline deficit in the region, Tengrinews reports citing Uralsk Week and Moi Gorod.

The driver named Daniyar Dzhumabayev parked his Volkswagen Touareg right in front of the government building entrance in Uralsk, the administrative center of the Oblast. He wrote “Net Benzina” (No Gasoline) on both the front and the rear windows of his car.

Photo courtesy of Uralsk Week/Petr Trotsenko

Dzhumabayev said he fully understood that his parking violated the traffic rules, but said that such means were justified because they were a show of his civic stance.

“I came by to ask the officials: where can I purchase gasoline?” Dzhumabayev started. “We live in an oil producing country (Kazakhstan) and we have a shortage of gasoline. I believe this is odd. I would have not come here if there was any gasoline at "KazMunaiGas" fuelling station. But it is lacking even there! After all, we are not in the Soviet Union to sit quiet and tolerate this. I want to get an answer from the officials, who say that gasoline is there. Maybe they live in some other kind of reality?” Moi Gorod cites the man as saying. 

Photo courtesy of Uralsk Week/Petr Trotsenko

The owner of the car then said he tried finding gasoline across the city but all of his attempts were vain. There was one place he had not tried but he just didn't have enough fuel in his tank to reach the place. Apparently, there was just the right amount to park in front of the administration building.

The man had not had the time to say that Western Kazakhstan is the place, where oil and gas in Kazakhstan are produced. Western Kazakhstan produces more than 90% of the country's crude oil. Besides, Western Kazakhstan Oblast alone produces almost all the gas condensate and close to a half of all the gas in the country.  

Photo courtesy of Uralsk Week/Petr Trotsenko

In about ten minutes after the man parked in front of the building, the police arrived. They asked Dzhumagaliyev to remove the car. But he said that his fuel tank was empty. The police checked if this was true and after making sure it was, offered to fill the tank of the Volkswagen with fuel from a patrol car. The activist, however, refused and said he would get a tow truck at his own expense.

The police gave him a ticket for parking in the wrong place.

At this point, deputy head of energy and utilities department of West Kazakhstan Oblast Murat Baimenov approached the mayor’s building.

“The fuel situation is as follows," he said, "I have contacted "KazMunaiGas Onemderi" (Kazakhstan's state-run company responsible for delivering fuel from Russian refineries), they have bought quite a large amount of fuel from Russia. I think that by the week’s end "KazMunaiGas" filling stations will start working. They have the largest share of the market in the city. By week’s end the fuel will be provided. The price stays the same,” Baimenov said according to Uralsk Week.

Photo courtesy of Moi Gorod/Medet MEDRESOV

Dzhumagaliyev’s car was loaded on a tow truck after the police completed the protocol. Some passing drivers approved of Dzhumagaliyev’s actions, and stopped to shake his hand.

This was, probably, that rare occasion when the passing drivers wished there was no fuel. No, no, not for them! For that tow truck that took away the Volkswagen.

By Dinara Urazova

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