News

Rave reviews for QR fuel

  • Less-crowded queues in first QR code week
  • Vehicle owners get petrol in 1-2 hrs, welcome reduction of tuks, bikes
  • Payment settled for diesel shipment: Minister

BY Dinitha Rathnayake

Fewer crowds were observed in fuel queues this week, particularly in Colombo and its suburbs, after the quick response (QR) code system of fuel rationing was fully implemented on Monday (1) by scrapping the previous licence plate-based system.

Speaking to The Morning, several vehicle owners said that they were able to obtain fuel after less than a couple of hours of waiting. 

“I think that this QR system works very well. I was surprised when my car got petrol only after waiting for one hour in the queue, where previously we had to wait for days to get fuel,” one vehicle owner said. 

“I was waiting for 10 days to get fuel before the QR system, but today, I was able to get fuel within just two hours. It was unbelievable. After waiting in long queues, I think that the people are more than happy to stay one or two hours to get fuel,” another vehicle owner said. 

“I see fewer three-wheelers and bikes in queues which is a piece of good news. When I was in the queue, there were only 10 bikes,” yet another vehicle owner noted.

Another vehicle owner expressed surprise claiming he was able to obtain petrol after waiting in a queue for less than 30 minutes. “The QR system should have been implemented earlier,” he said.

As per the weekly fuel quota, two-wheelers receive four litres of fuel, while three-wheelers receive five litres of fuel. The small four-wheelers including cars and vans are given 20 litres of fuel for a week, whereas heavy vehicles such as buses and lorries are given 40 and 50 litres of fuel, respectively.

The number plate system, the token system, and other systems put in place to manage Sri Lanka’s fuel crisis have not been in use this week since Monday (1).

Last week, a Power and Energy Ministry statement said that users unable to register vehicles with the chassis number, will be able to register with the revenue licence from 31 July.

All three-wheelers have been asked to register their vehicles at their respective Police stations and to nominate their filling station of choice. The move comes after three-wheeler drivers have been accused of being a “fuel mafia”, selling fuel in the black market. They have also been accused of creating longer fuel queues, and causing scuffles at filling stations. Several fights have broken out in fuel queues, resulting in at least two related deaths since the queues started in April of this year.

The Ministry stated that nearly five million vehicles have registered for the National Fuel Permit and that 95% of the total number of fuel stations in the country have adopted the QR code system. The fuel stations that follow the QR code system are to be given priority in fuel distribution and the fuel issued will be monitored using the QR code.

Meanwhile, people using power generators, garden equipment, machinery, and other equipment that require fuel must register at the respective Divisional Secretariat offices by choosing the type of fuel that they need, the weekly fuel requirement, and the filling station that they wish to get fuel from.

An allocated quota will be provided to the Police Department from the petrol stations selected for each Police station, and the quota to be given to those petrol stations will be informed in the future.

Also, the Ministry has informed the public to take steps to send photographic or video evidence to the WhatsApp number 0742123123 about filling stations and people who do not follow instructions, and engage in fuel stockpiling, selling, related activities or providing fuel illegally.

Meanwhile, Minister of Power and Energy Kanchana Wijesekera, in a Twitter post about an update on fuel purchases, said payments were settled for a shipment of diesel. According to him, the unloading process of this cargo was expected to begin on Wednesday (3).

He further stated that the Ceylon Petroleum Corporation (CPC) has entered into a one-year agreement for the supply of jet fuel and will receive the first cargo between 12 and 14 August.

In the meantime, part advance payments have been made for two shipments of petrol and diesel.

Wijesekera also requested users of the National Fuel Pass not to display their respective QR code anywhere visible to others and to keep their personal QR codes in a secure place to make sure no one else uses it illegally. In a Twitter post, the Minister also said that the option to delete a National Fuel Pass profile and the option to register again is now available.

Meanwhile the highest number of fuel stations (1,004) using the QR code system in a 24-hour period was recorded yesterday, according to Minister Wijesekera. He said a total of 1,235 fuel stations island-wide have adopted the QR code system. This includes 1,033 CPC filling stations and 202 Lanka IOC filling stations.