Colombo, Aug 1 (EFE).- Sri Lanka implemented the QR system to refill tanks at gas stations on Monday to streamline fuel distribution and restrict the sale of petrol and diesel in illegal markets.
Power and Energy Minister Kanchana Wijesekera tweeted that five million vehicles registered with the National Fuel Pass QR system after the government rolled out the arrangement.
The minister directed gas station owners and management to provide fuel only according to the new quota system.
The government provides a fuel pass after registering and verifying the chassis number and other details of vehicles.
The government adopted the new barcode-based fuel distribution system as the island battles a crippling gasoline shortage amid a severe cash crunch and dwindling foreign exchange.
People have been queuing up for days to fill their tanks.
The new system will guarantee a weekly quota for each vehicle.
After registering for the pass, consumers can produce a printed or soft copy of the QR code at all filling stations to purchase fuel.
The ministry urged the people not to overcrowd filling stations.
“The whole week is available to get the allocated quota from fuel stations island-wide,” the ministry said in a press statement.
Asela Maduranga, who drives a three-wheeler, said he got his weekly quota from the QR barcode system, which seemed “much easier” than jostling through the crowds.
Maduranga said the system streamlined the distribution, even as long queues at gas stations were still the same.
“Our main problem is that we only get a limited supply. I only got five liters. Everyone can get fuel through this system.”
Another consumer, Chanchana Herath, told Efe that the system would help fight the so-called “fuel mafia” that sold petrol and diesel on the black market at exorbitant rates.
“There was a major fuel mafia in the country. Even we had to buy fuel for Rs.2,500 a litre or more in the black market. That is five times what we had to pay at a filling station. Hopefully, now we will all be able to get petrol without the influence of the mafia,” Herath said.
However, registering for the system has not been entirely successful. Some consumers complained that their several attempts failed. EFE