Sri lanka News – With public movement increasing in Sri Lanka as schools and universities reopen, the country is again seeing extended queues outside fuel stations, after an initial easing of queues following the implementation of the National Fuel Pass from August 01.
For several months, long queues that stretched for kilometres outside filing stations were seen around the country as Sri Lanka failed to secure adequate fuel supplies due to a severe forex shortage amid the worst economic crisis in the history after independence in Sri Lanka.
But with the advent of the QR code-enabled fuel pass system, the Ministry of Power & Energy was able to ensure a smoother supply of fuel on a quota-basis, minimising the queues.
As of August 23 more than six million vehicles have signed up for the QR system.
However, with the reopening of schools and universities from August 22, queues were seen to have appeared to reemerge by Thursday August 25.
Colombo filling stations that are affiliated to Sri Lanka’s main fuel distributors, the state-owned CEYPETCO and Lanka IOC, a local unit of the Indian Oil Corporation, said when inquired about the queue situation that delays in arriving the ordered fuel stocks is the main reason for the lines of vehicles.
“We have been closed since yesterday afternoon,” a CEYPETCO station in Malabe told EconomyNext on Thursday August 25.
“The stocks we ordered have not arrived yet.”
Several fuel stations in the Colombo area were seen to have placed barriers around the premises and were pumping limited amounts of fuel to customers due to stocks running out.
Queues were seen to be forming on Thursday in front of several filling stations despite being closed due to not having fuel in stock.
Meanwhile, Minister of Power & Energy Kanachana Wijesekara had tweeted on Tuesday August 23 that a 30,000-metric ton diesel consignment was scheduled to be unloaded on Wednesday and a crude oil ship would arrive later that Tuesday.
A consignment of auto diesel was scheduled to arrive on August 25 or 26 while a 92 Octane petrol consignment is scheduled to arrive between August 27 and 29.
The state-run Ceylon Petroleum Corporation (CPC) was unavailable for comment regarding the newly formed queues. (Colombo/Aug25/2022)