Despite Govt. appeal, endless fuel queues sprawl countrywide

Wednesday, 22 June 2022 00:21 -     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}


  • Health workers get 74 dedicated filling stations to refill on Fridays
  • Cabinet Co-Spokesman Bandula Gunawardana says public cannot expect energy crisis to be resolved overnight
  • Agriculture Minister Mahinda Amaraweera claims mobs are focused on creating unrest in disguise as waiting at filling stations

Despite Power and Energy Minister Kanchana Wijesekera’s appeal to the public not to queue up, a large number of motorists were seen waiting in anticipation, whilst many stations also had fuel supply.

Both Ceylon Petroleum Corporation (CPC) and Lanka IOC (LIOC) filling stations had been in intermittent operations to serve the large number of motorists waiting in kilometre-long queues.

On Monday, the Power and Energy Minister requested the public not to queue up for the next three days, noting that proper distribution will only be restored by tomorrow.

Separately, Health Minister Keheliya Rambukwella yesterday announced that arrangements were being taken to dispense fuel to vehicles of health sector employees every Friday at 74 filling stations countrywide.

As per the Minister, all heads of health institutions are instructed to issue a letter certifying the individual as a staff member of a particular health institution, which should be produced at the filling station as proof of identity.

To overcome the fuel shortage, the Government this week announced frantic measures including a new scheme to supply fuel to three-wheelers and motorcycles based on the respective number plate’s last digit. The Government’s struggle to deal with growing fuel shortage and queues continued as public outcry worsened with fears over minimal supply in the next few days.

Cabinet Co-Spokesman and Minister Bandula Gunawardana yesterday pointed out that the public cannot expect the severe energy crisis to be resolved overnight.

“The foreign exchange shortage is the main obstacle to importing adequate fuel. People should be mindful of the crisis at hand. We expect the public to be tolerant until the Government addresses the immediate issues faced by the country,” he added.

Meanwhile, Agriculture Minister Mahinda Amaraweera who also joined the weekly post-Cabinet meeting briefing yesterday claimed mobs are focused on creating unrest under the pretext of waiting to purchase fuel at filling stations.

“We have received reports that politically connected persons and underworld figures are involved in creating unrest adjacent to filling stations and at fuel queues,” he added.

Minister Amaraweera said when Police and security personnel are deployed to deescalate such unrest and arrest mobs, certain individuals have been exploiting the situation to instigate violence.