Sri Lanka has less than a day of fuel left: Minister

COLOMBO: Sri Lanka has less than a day on fuel left, the energy minister said Sunday, even as the cramped country extended school closures for a week because there isn’t enough fuel for teachers and parents to get kids to classrooms. Lines for petrol and diesel meandered for miles through the capital, although most gas stations have been out of fuel for days.
Minister of Energy Kanchana Wijesekera said the country’s gasoline reserves were 4,000 tons, just under one day’s consumption. “The next gasoline shipment is expected between July 22 and 23,” he said. “We have reached out to other suppliers, but we are unable to confirm new deliveries before the 22nd.” Last week, Sri Lanka announced a two-week shutdown on all fuel sales except for essential services to conserve petrol and diesel for emergencies.
Most shops were closed on Sunday, and the situation is expected to worsen when banks and offices reopen on Monday. Desperate people were seen trying to mark the few vehicles on the road in hopes of a ride. Private buses, which make up two-thirds of the country’s fleet, said they were running a skeleton service on Sunday as they were hit hard by the fuel shortage.
Last month, schools across the country were closed for a day due to fuel shortages and closed in urban areas for the past two weeks. Schools will remain closed until Friday. Meanwhile, the energy minister appealed to the country’s expatriates to send money home through banks to fund new oil purchases. “Finding money is a challenge. It’s a huge challenge,” said Wijesekera.

Leave a Comment