Diesel Not Available For Sale In Sri Lanka As Country Faces Record-Long Power Blackouts
Diesel was no longer available for sale across Sri Lanka on Thursday as the country continues to undergo record-long power blackouts, Agence France-Presse (AFP) reports.
Though petrol is available in limited supplies, motorists were apparently forced to abandon their cars in long queues due to the widespread fuel shortage.
“We are siphoning off fuel from buses that are in the garage for repairs and using that diesel to operate serviceable vehicles,” Sri Lankan Transport Minister Dilum Amunugama was quoted by the AFP.
Private bus operators have expressed that they have already run out of oil and will even struggle to provide skeleton services from Saturday onwards.
Meanwhile, the Ceylon Electricity Board chairman M. M. C. Fernandinho explained that there would be 13-hour power cuts from Thursday as the country does not have diesel for generators.
According to Fernandinho, even the hydro reservoirs that provide for over a third of the electricity demand in the island nation are ‘dangerously low’.
As a result of the prevalent economic distress, state-run hospitals in Sri Lanka have stopped conducting surgeries owing to shortage of essential life-saving medicines.
President Gotabaya Rajapaksa-led government is hoping for a bailout from the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and has also sought additional loans from India and China to combat the situation.
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