Authorities in Sri Lanka’s main port have introduced a “free bicycle service” so that citizens do not have to use petrol-powered means of transport.
Sri Lanka, which is in the throes of an economic crisis, is currently facing severe fuel shortages.
According to Sri Lankan media, people traveling on motorbikes and cars in the country have to wait in line for hours to get petrol at gas stations.
Sri Lanka Ports Authority chairman Prasantha Jayamna said the purpose of the bicycle service was to store petrol at the Colombo port.
“We have built a cycle track along the unused railway line for the convenience of those coming to the port so that they can use bicycles instead of other vehicles,” he told reporters.
The shipping lines operating through the port have donated 100 bicycles to launch the service, Jiamna said.
“The port is safe from the economic woes facing Sri Lanka and was supplying petrol to the workers from its reserves,” he said.
“We are doing our job as usual because we have fuel stocks,” said Prasantha Jayamna.
Sri Lanka’s economic crisis has been caused by a shortage of foreign exchange reserves, which has left importers unable to obtain food, fuel and other commodities.
Excessive inflation, constant blackouts and long queues for essential commodities have made the lives of 22 million people on the island miserable.
The government has called for immediate help from the International Monetary Fund, while protesters are demanding the resignation of President Gotabaya Raja Pakse.