Lanka increases daily power cuts to 10 hours as fuel crisis worsens

Colombo: The Sri Lankan government on Wednesday extended the nationwide daily power cuts from seven hours to 10 due to the non-availability of fuel to generate hydro-electricity.

Sri Lanka is facing an unprecedented acute economic and energy crisis caused due to shortage of foreign exchange. A sudden rise in prices of key commodities and fuel shortage forced tens of thousands of people to queue for hours outside petrol filling stations. People are also facing long hours of power cuts daily. All essentials are in short supply due to import restrictions forced by the forex crisis.

The daily power cuts in the island nation have been further extended Wednesday morning to 10 hours, officials said. The country has been facing a seven-hour power outage since the beginning of the month. There is a shortage of 750 megawatt due to non-availability of fuel to generate thermal power, the chair of the Public Utilities Commission Janaka Ratnayaka said.

State-run Ceylon Petroleum Corporation (CPC) has asked motorists not to queue outside fuel stations on Wednesday and Thursday to purchase diesel as it was unable to pay for a shipment that had arrived.

It was, however, not clear from where the shipment had arrived. The CPC said the unloading of the ship would happen only on Friday.

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