Colombo, December 29 (The New Indian Express): Authorities of the Lanka Indian Oil Corporation (LIOC) at the High Security Oil Tank Farm in the Eastern Sri Lankan city of Trincomalee on Thursday stopped and questioned an official of the Ceylon Petroleum Corporation (CPC) who had entered the facility without prior permission.
LIOC Managing Director Shyam Bohra told Express that the unauthorized entrant was discovered on his way out. He was questioned and let off when he revealed his identity as a CPC staffer. However, he and others in his group filed a police complaint saying that three of them had been detained by LIOC officials..
Bohra said that the officials were not detained but were only questioned to ascertain the identity of the unauthorized entrant.
The officials had wanted to inspect the tanks in the Upper Tank Farm with a view to using them for storing fuel to generate electricity in the wake of warnings that Sri Lanka is heading for a power crisis.
But LIOC officials told them that this could not be done without a joint sanction from the Indian and Sri Lankan government as the LIOC is controlling the tanks as per a government to government agreement. There could be no construction of any kind on the basis of a unilateral decision of the Sri Lankan cabinet, it was pointed out.
Bohra told Express that he took up this matter with the Sri Lankan Ministries of Power and Petroleum on Thursday, and offered to collaborate with the CPC in using the tanks in the Lower Farm to store fuel. And the ministers agreed.
(The featured picture at the top shows the giant World War II oil tanks at the Trincomalee Oil Tank Farm)