Water in petrol? Why fuel adulteration is big worry in crisis-hit Sri Lanka

A crippling shortage of petrol and diesel in Sri Lanka is now being complicated further with allegations of water or even kerosene oil being mixed to existing stocks.
By : HT Auto Desk
| Updated on: 07 Jun 2022, 11:27 AM
File photo: Sri Lankan army soldiers secure a deserted fuel station in Colombo, Sri Lanka. (AP)
File photo: Sri Lankan army soldiers secure a deserted fuel station in Colombo, Sri Lanka. (AP)
File photo: Sri Lankan army soldiers secure a deserted fuel station in Colombo, Sri Lanka. (AP)
File photo: Sri Lankan army soldiers secure a deserted fuel station in Colombo, Sri Lanka.

Fuel shortage in economic crisis-hit Sri Lanka is a very real concern but what is fast emerging as an even bigger worry is adulteration of petrol and diesel in the country that could potentially have a wide and long-ranging detrimental impact on vehicles here. Local reports in the country highlight that many fuel pump owners may be mixing water or even kerosene oil to increase the quantity of fuel and then pumping the fuel into vehicles.

(Also read: Want petrol? 12-hour wait for a tank full)

A report in Sri Lanka's Daily Mirror highlights that many people have been complaining about the possibility of adulterated petrol and diesel at fuel stations here. With a crippling shortage in automotive fuel anyway forcing motorists to often wait hours for a tank full, spurious fuel is now a very real concern as well.

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It is alleged that fuel adulteration may be more common in pumps that are in rural areas and may be quite rampant because fuel stocks aren't being checked for quality. Ceylon Petroleum Corporation has reportedly advised motorists to themselves check the quality of fuel. "Some fuel should be taken to a transparent bottle before unloading contents in any bowser; for a sample check. This should be done before filling the tanks for the purpose of identifying any substance that’s likely to be mixed with fuel," Ananda Palitha Chief Secretary Jathika Sevaka Sangamaya of CPC has been quoted as saying.

Currently, CPC does not have fuel reserves of its own and fuel is reportedly being obtained from shipping vessels directly. But the bigger question is if motorists at large can be asked to check fuel quality themselves, especially as most have to anyway wait for hours - 12 hours at times - to get a refill.

But while a vehicle with an empty tank may mean no driving, getting spurious filled can have even more serious consequences, from engine misfires to a complete breakdown.  

First Published Date: 07 Jun 2022, 11:26 AM IST
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