Islandwide fuel shortage looms Drivers of private bowsers on strike

Ceylon Petroleum Storage Terminals Limited

A shortage of fuel supply to parts of the island looms large with the Ceylon Petroleum Private Bowser Owners Association (CPPBOA) saying, drivers of their bowsers that distribute oil from the Muthurajawela Oil Storage Complex, have embarked on a strike.

Deputy General Manager (Operations), Ceylon Petroleum Storage Terminals Limited (CPSTL), Lalith Hettitantirige, however said, this move would not lead to curtailing the supply of petroleum to any part of the country.  He said the CPSTL hires tanks and lorries only when it is deemed necessary, when there is fuel still left over after their bowsers are filled to transport the same to various parts of the country. The bowsers have capacities of 33,000 litres, 19,800 litres and 13,200 litres. Apart from the bowsers, trains are also used to transport fuel to storage depots to certain parts of the island.

“This problem had arisen as the 33,000 litre capacity bowsers owned by private owners employ private drivers with whom we don’t have a contract. We only have contractual obligations with the owners of bowsers. The drivers complained on Saturday (25) that there are no toilet facilities in Muthurajawela.

This, in fact, is true as there was a problem with the toilet. However, we have taken steps to have a new toilet on the premises for their use in two weeks time. They were managing with the existing facilities all this time. As they did not come for filling by Tuesday (28), the owners got alarmed and we thereafter had a discussion with them in the regard,” Hettitantirige added.

Meanwhile, sources said discussions with the relevant parties are continuing to resolve the issue, speedily.

(Ceylon Today Online)