Fuel Crisis: 22 Train journeys cancelled as workers unable to report to work

Sri Lanka railway commuters

Train passengers in Sri Lanka. (File Photo)

A total of 22 train journeys including office and intercity trains scheduled for today (July 01) have been cancelled as railway guards were unable to report to work due to lack of fuel, the Sri Lanka Railways Station Masters’ Union (SLRSMU) said.

Public Transport was not functioning as usual due to the fuel crisis, and scores of passengers were inconvenienced.

Taking into account the availability of limited stocks of fuel in the country, the government recently announced that fuel volumes are dispensed only to vehicles belonging to essential services such as ports, health sector, distribution of essential food items, and transportation of agricultural products, from June 27 to July 10.

However, the employees in essential services are facing challenges in reporting to work due to the ongoing fuel crisis.

UPDATE – 01:15 PM: Railway guards and engine drivers have launched a strike with immediate effect, Railway Trade Unions said.

They have launched the strike in protest of the railway authorities’ failure to grant fuel for railway workers to report for duty.

UPDATE – 04:59 PM: Railway trade unions have called off their strike action as a decision was made to release fuel from the Sri Lanka Railways reserves to employees, as they went on strike citing that they had no fuel to report to work.

The officer said that fuel was provided to railway workers until 3:00 PM today (July 01).