Ananda Palitha, the secretary of the Ceylon Petroleum Corporation (CPC) chapter of the Jathika Sevaka Sangamaya (JSS) alleged that the daily usage of kerosene which was at 300 metric tons had been increased to 700 metric tons per day due to widespread practice of buses and other commercial vehicles using kerosene mixed with diesel. Speaking to the Daily Mirror he said the President should be held responsible as the Minister of Environment as he is unable to control the usage of kerosene by the commercial vehicles in the country.
“Sapugaskanda oil refinery produces 25 to 30 per cent of diesel and petrol and 70 per cent of jet fuel from its full capacity. Jet fuel is highly refined kerosene. Due to the increase of the use of kerosene, jet fuel production had come down and the required amount of jet fuel had to be imported at a high cost,” he said.
Mr. Palitha said using kerosene for buses and lorries will cause respiratory ailments for expectant mothers, infants and children and it also destroys the natural environment of the country. However, he claimed that the subsidised kerosene given to the low-income families and fishing community does not bring any fruitful results as envisaged. Unfortunately, the kerosene subsidy is being misused by some bus and lorry owners and some industrialists. Therefore, he urged that a proper mechanism should be introduced by the authorities to issue kerosene to most eligible individuals. (Chaturanga Samarawickrama)