Give priority to private buses – LPBOA

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The Lanka Private Bus Owners’ Association (LPBOA) says if private buses were given priority, when fuel was provided by Ceypetco or filling stations operated by corporative societies, they would be able to run buses at 50 per cent capacity by tomorrow (19).

LPBOA President Gemunu Wijeratne told the media yesterday (17) that the fuel provided by Sri Lanka Transport Board depots for private buses is insufficient.

“Due to the scarcity of fuel, public transportation must be strengthened. If fuel is available tomorrow, please make it available to us as soon as possible for private buses,” he added.

He also noted that due to the fuel crisis, only 15 per cent of buses could be operated last few weeks.

Meanwhile, General Secretary of the All Ceylon Private Bus Owners’ Association, Anjana Priyanjith, said with limited fuel in the country, public transportation has become a serious crisis, and passengers are in a lot of trouble.

He claimed the fuel provided by SLTB depots is never sufficient, and that some depots do not provide fuel at all.

He claimed that the Government is still failing to make proper arrangements to obtain the fuel needed for public transportation and to provide passengers with convenience.

According to Sarath Vijitha Kumara, of the Inter-Provincial Private Bus Owners’ Association, more than 3,000 interprovincial private buses have cancelled their daily journeys due to a lack of fuel or a limited supply. He claims that long-distance buses require 150-200 litres of fuel per day, but only 40-80 litres can be obtained from fuel stations.

He said that as a result of this, there are instances where buses arrive at one destination and do not have enough fuel to travel to the next, causing significant inconvenience to those involved in the bus industry.

He also noted that the National Transport Commission regulates 3,200 inter-provincial private buses that run throughout the island, but only about 10 per cent of them are operational.

Secretary of the All Ceylon Transport Workers’ Union Sepala Liyanage said that there is insufficient fuel for the SLTB buses, which are an important part of the public transportation system. He stated that due to a lack of essential spare parts, such as tyres, most of the buses that could run have been taken out of service.

By Nabiya Vaffoor and Mithun Jayawardena