Since the Sri Lanka Transport Board (SLTB) filling stations began supplying fuel for private buses, the Ceylon Petroleum Corporation (CPC) decided to double diesel distribution to SLTB filling stations, starting yesterday (7).
Cabinet Spokesman Bandula Guanwardena said, this was to avoid inconvenience caused by fuel scarcity for those who depend on public transport.
Addressing the weekly Cabinet media briefing yesterday (7) at the Department of Government Information, Dr. Guanwardena said structural changes will be implemented to improve the transport sector beginning on 15 June.
On 4 June, the Transport Minister and Transport Ministry heads met to discuss solutions to the current public transport problems. Discussions were held on a number of short-term measures that must be taken to address commuter transport issues in the face of the current fuel crisis and rising cost of living in the country.
Meanwhile, private bus owners have warned that due to the current diesel shortage, the private bus service will only operate at 65 per cent of its normal capacity. President of the Lanka Private Bus Owners’ Association (LPBOA) Gemunu Wijeratne said only 5,000 buses will be in operation going forward.
“We only get diesel from SLTB diesel filling stations in Jaffna and Colombo. Mannar, Vavuniya, Puttalam, Gampaha, Kalutara, Badulla Districts and the Southern Province are experiencing a shortage. Private buses are supplied with diesel every two days, while some SLTB filling stations provide diesel for non-essential services. The Government should at the very least consider limiting school and office hours, so that the country can function properly,” he said.
BY Thameenah Razeek