Sri Lanka: 2 elderly persons die waiting in queue for 6 hours for fuel at petrol stations as country faces shortage

Chairman of State-owned Ceylon Petroleum Corporation (CPC) Sumith Wijesinghe said, "From the Indian credit line, we get all the finished products, such as petrol, diesel and Jet fuel."

PTIUpdated: Sunday, March 20, 2022, 07:40 PM IST
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Two 70-year-old men have died waiting in seperate queues outside petrol filling stations in Sri Lanka, officials here said on Sunday.

Sri Lankan is reeling from a severe shortage of fuel as it deals with a historic foreign reserve crisis.

Colombo police said the two septuagenarians died at central district Kandy and Colombo Suburb on Saturday. Both the deceased had spent over six hours in the waiting lines.

Acute exhaustion caused by torrid heat is believed to be the preliminary cause of the deaths.

Officials said the government is banking on Indian fuel to ease the current crunch.

Chairman of State-owned Ceylon Petroleum Corporation (CPC) Sumith Wijesinghe said, "From the Indian credit line, we get all the finished products, such as petrol, diesel and Jet fuel."

"We have received jet fuel on 13th and 14th (of this month). We have received another diesel ship which will start unloading tomorrow," he said, pointing out that the public seemed to stockpile fuel in view of the shortage.

"The daily demand for diesel was 5,500 metric tonnes (MT) and 3,300 MT for petrol before the crisis. Now with the excess buying, we have been writing 7,000 MT to 8,000 MT of diesel and 4,200 MT to 4,500 MT of petrol from the CPC storage to the market," Wijesinghe said.

"The daily demand for diesel was 5,500 metric tonnes (MT) and 3,300 MT for petrol before the crisis. Now with the excess buying, we have been writing 7,000 MT to 8,000 MT of diesel and 4,200 MT to 4,500 MT of petrol from the CPC storage to the market," Wijesinghe said.

He further said the demand for diesel spiked as many households operated diesel-powered generators to tide over long power cuts, some lasting over 5 hours.

Last month, the Sri Lankan government admitted that it had run out of cash to buy fuel as pumps in most filling stations across the country ran dry, exacerbating the deepening foreign-exchange crisis.

Sri Lanka's economy is also seeing a scarcity of food and other essentials, which had pushed inflation to a record 25 per cent in January this year.

Tourism, another key foreign-exchange earner, has also witnessed a lull due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

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