News

QR Code-based fuel rationing: Tuks slam 5L quota, private buses slam QR

BY Dinitha Rathnayake 

Three-wheeler drivers are complaining that five litres of fuel as their weekly quota is wholly insufficient for a week’s travel, while the Lanka Private Bus Owners’ Association has said that the QR code system is “impractical”, The Morning learnt.

All-Island Three-Wheeler Drivers Association President Lalith Dharmasekara, speaking to The Morning, said that they request that three-wheeler drivers be allocated at least five litres daily for six days of the week, which amounts to a total of 30 litres per week.

“Three-wheelers that engage in work for companies like PickMe and Uber run 250 km per day and they work for 12-14 hours, so the daily requirement is around 10 litres per day. Three-wheelers in three-wheeler stands run for around 150 km per day, working for 8-12 hours, so their need is at least six litres per day. Five litres is not enough for a week; therefore, we urge the Government to increase the quota for fuel and we are in turn ready to introduce a mobile app for this purpose,” Dharmasekara explained.

Meanwhile, speaking to the media, All-Island Three-Wheeler Drivers Union Secretary T.R. Pallie favoured rationing along with the quick response (QR) code system, but said that five litres for Rs. 2,000 was not enough for a week.

Noting that a three-wheeler can drive up to 27 km per litre, he stressed that five litres would only be enough for two days because of the high demand for hires.

“The Government has mixed up its priorities in providing fuel, prioritising private transport over public and goods transport,” Pallie said.

Three-wheeler drivers are also complaining of facing a new dilemma, as they have been compelled to switch to 95-Octane petrol due to fuel scarcity.

Elsewhere, according to reports, Lanka Private Bus Owners’ Association President Gemunu Wijeratne said that the QR code system was “impractical’’ because buses receive fuel from Sri Lanka Transport Board (SLTB) depots. Private bus operators allege corruption at SLTB depots, where the pump attendant takes Rs. 10,000 to ensure a full tank. Wijeratne said that 13,000 private buses are only provided with 350,000 litres of diesel out of the 700,000 litres received.