Minister of Power apologizes for power cuts

Minister of Power apologizes for power cuts

Written by Staff Writer

24 Mar, 2019 | 11:03 pm

CEB Scheduled Power Cuts

Colombo (News 1st): The CEB has issued a schedule for intermittent power cuts across the island. The supply of power will be cut off to different areas for a number of hours in the morning, noon and at night.

According to the schedule released by the CEB, the daytime brackets will be from 8.30 am to 11.30 AM, 11.30 am to 2.30 pm or from 2.30 pm to 5.30 pm.

During the night power cuts have been scheduled in the following brackets – from 6.30 pm to 7.30 pm, 7.30 pm to 8.30 pm or 8.30 pm to 9.30 pm.

The CEB added that there are over 50 Grid Substations across the country and intermittent power cuts will be scheduled via those substations.

A senior officer of the CEB said while the usual demand for power during the day is about 2350MW currently only 1950 MW of this demand can be supplied.

The CEB noted that the power demand at night exceeds 2600MW of which the CEB can only supply 2300MW.

No permission to implement power cuts

Although a schedule for intermittent power cuts has been issued by the CEB, when inquired on the matter, media spokesperson of the Ministry of Power and Renewable Energy Suren Batagoda said that the Ministry has not granted permission for the CEB to implement the power cuts.

He added that they have instructed leading private industrialists in the country to use their private generators to generate the electricity they require.

Power Sector Mafia

President of the CEB General Employees Union Malaka Wickremesinghe noted that before the Norochcholai power plant broke down there were no power cuts in the country. He added that there is a question as to why there are power outages at a time when the Norochcholai power plant is fully operational.

He pointed out that on one hand, the Ministry is saying that they have not authorized these power cuts, and then, on the other hand, CEB is talking about a power cut. He added that there is clearly a mafia active in the power sector and it creates an artificial power crisis and induces the purchase of emergency power.

Power outages cause disruptions

Residents of these areas claim that they have no power for about 2 to 3 hours a day and as a result, they cannot do any work. Vendors in the area note that ice cream and yoghurts start to melt and the companies do not accept them if they are returned.

They note that if they can’t pay their bills for a month they will cut off the connection but no one cares when they cut power and inconvenience the people.

Power outages also caused disruptions to the supply of water in many areas across the island. General Manager of the National Water Supply and Drainage Board Deepthi Sumanasekera said water was supplied at low pressure to the area including the Galle, Matara and Gampaha Districts.

Ravi’s Response

Minister of Power and Renewable Energy Ravi Karunanayake note that he doesn’t think that there will be a need for power cuts anymore. He noted that there is a shortage of power and there is nothing to hide about it.

However, he noted that they can solve this problem by using eletricity sparingly. He begged the forgiveness from the general public, however, they will not purchase emergency power. He added that temporary businessmen are trying to exploit the prevailing situation and increase their prices. He pointed out that they are working according to a long term plan.

Honourable Minister after the contract to purchase power between ACE power in Embilipitiya and other private power plants expired, it was you yourself who submitted a cabinet proposal for the government to purchase emergency power. It has been over 3 years since the Cabinet of Ministers approved this.

However, disregarding all of this, the Secretary of the Ministry Suren Batagoda and other officials have for their personal needs refrained from implementing these measures and continue to purchase power at exorbitant prices.

The fact that certain engineers of the Ceylon Eletricity Board are members of the board of directors of these companies is also not a secret. Therefore you as the subject minister are vested with the duty of rectifying this situation.

It must be noted that as long as these issues continue to remain unaddressed, you will not be able to solve the problems in the country’s power sector.

CEB branch of the Jathika Sewaka Sangamaya, Ranjan Jayalal noted that the CEB on November 1st celebrated their 50th anniversary and they had spent hundreds of thousands of rupees to put up banners and other congratulatory posters across the island.

He pointed out that some sections of the managment of the CEB are blaming this government saying that they weren’t allowed to implement their plans. He said the issues in the country have become a gold mine that lines the pockets of high ranking officers at the CEB and the leaders of the country.

What we are experiencing today are the fruits of the years of service rendered by these Ministers.

  • Anuruddha Ratwatte (1994 – 2001)
  • Karu Jayasuriya (2001 – 2004)
  • Susil Premajayantha (2004 – 2005)
  • John Seneviratne (2005 – 2010)
  • Champika Ranawaka (2010 – 2013)
  • Pavithra Wanniarachchi (2013 – 2015)
  • Champika Ranawaka (Jan. 2015 – Aug 2015)
  • Ranjith Siyambalapitiya (Aug 2015 – Oct 2018)

You brought our nation to its knees by ensuring that we forever remain in the dark.


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