Sri Lanka Hits By Economic Crisis
Sri Lanka faces the biggest-ever blackout as the country runs out of diesel on Thursday. As the crisis hit the country 22 million people endured the blackout. After Independence, the country is now facing its worst economic disaster. Conditions worsen when they are suddenly not able to pay for even the essentials.
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Unavailability of Diesel
Diesel, an essential fuel for buses and commercial vehicles as per media reports, was not available across the island. Petrol is even available in very little amounts, forcing the vehicle owners to surrender their vehicles in the long lines outside pumps.
As per Transport Minister Dilum Amunugama, “We are siphoning off fuel from buses that are in the garage for repairs and using that diesel to operate serviceable vehicles.”
The diesel was long gone for the owners of private buses, and even basic service workers who ensure the working of a business on a very basic level will not be available after Friday.
Gemunu Wijeratne, who is the chairman of the private bus association said to AFP, “We are still using old stocks of diesel, but if we don’t get supplies by this evening, we will not be able to operate.”
Millions of people faced 13 hours of long blackout as there was no diesel for generators.
“We are promised new supplies in two days and if that happens, we can reduce the length of power cuts,” said the Ceylon Electricity Board chairman to reporters.
Many offices are requesting the non-essential staff to stay at home, as this long power cut forced the Colombo Stock Exchange to limit trading.
As important chemicals are short in diagnostic centres the tests can not be executed. And hospitals have stopped the surgeries because vital medicines are not available.