Written by Lahiru Fernando
08 Nov, 2017 | 11:20 pm
“Where is the ship?” is a question running in the mind of most Sri Lankan citizens, especially the ones in urban areas as the fuel crisis continue.
Needless to say, the people and their daily activities have been seriously disrupted with the Petrol shortage.
Though the Ministry of Petroleum Resources Development say 3000 Metric Tonnes of fuel is released daily, what was seen at filling stations said a different story.
According to the subject Ministry’s Secretary Upali Marasinghe, a vessel carrying 40,000 Metric Tonnes of petrol will reach Colombo at around 11:30 tonight (November 8).
However, the fuel will not reach filling stations immediately.
> Testing the sample would take around 8 to 10 hours. Which means the tests will be completed in the early hours of Thursday (November 9).
> Then the fuel has to be unloaded, which will likely begin at around 11 am.
> It is only by 2 pm the fuel will be available for distribution.
According to Upali Marasinghe, a request had been made to obtain fuel from a vessel bound to Maldives.
“We requested for a consignment of fuel from that vessel. We informed them we will not make a payment but will provide a similar consignment of replacement fuel.” – he said.
Marasinghe said that the Ministry is still waiting for an official response, which he say might be a success.
“Today the President and the Prime Minister have held discussions with India to bring another fuel vessel to Colombo. That vessel will reach the country tomorrow. So, nobody needs to have any fear about any fuel shortage” – he added.
The Tanker Torm Astrid carrying the substandard fuel is still anchored in the outer harbour of Trincomalee.
Interestingly there is another Tanker called ‘Unique Developer’ sailing under a Hong-Kong flag. This tanker was anchored in the Inner Harbor and is currently in the outer harbor of Trincomalee.
Meanwhile the Minister of Irrigation and Water Resources Management Vijith Vijayamuni Zoysa said the following;
“… A person met a friend at a tavern when the bus stopped. Just like that, the ship turned back, the refinery shutdown and the filling stations closed down on the same day. Everything happened in sequence …”
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