No more than Rs. 18/- for K’pitiya Power
From the above titled article of 13th January, it would appear that the Minister for Power and Energy, W. D. J. Seneviratne, is not of a fixed mind or has been misled or ill advised when he says that the Lanka Transformer Company Ltd. (LTCL) had been instructed to provide electricity at Rs. 18/-, though the cost is nearly Rs. 40/-. I would refer the readers and Minister WDJS to my letter "Minister V. CEB engineers of 24th December 2008, wherein I said that the Minister should consult the CEB, the sole authority in distributing and formulating the pricing, when his (WDJ’S) earlier statement said that electricity supply from K’pitiya will be Rs. 14/- which was refuted by the CEB engineers. It would therefore appear that the CEB engineers had correctly worked out the cost of electricity at the K’pitiya power station.

The next question is that the Minister, while stating that a unit cost of electricity from K’pitiya will be about Rs. 40/-, had requested the TLTL to supply at Rs. 18/-. If so, who is to meet the balance Rs. 22/-? Does he expect the LTLC to run at a loss? Or is the Government meeting the deficit? It would appear that all this mismanagement is due to the Minister trying to justify the setting up of this plant which was opposed by the CEB. Though it may be out of place, it should be mentioned that the pet project of the Minister, the Liquid Gas plant - which was vehemently opposed by the CEB and experts and energy specialists and fortunately dropped - is now again surreptitiously being revived, it is understood.

The next alarming article in your issue of 13.01.09 is "CEB engineers condemn move to hand over Norochcholai Operations to Lanka Coal Company (LCC)." As we all know, the Norochcholai Coal Power plant is solely a CEB project, partly funded by the CEB, and therefore should be managed by the Generation Branch of the CEB. It is true that when an organisation expands, there should be adjustments in the administration within the main body, rather than forming a separate company not answerable to the main body (CEB) and not the Minister as the case is, and thereby bring about conflict.

All in all, it appears that the CEB and Minister W. D. J. Seneviratne do not seem to see eye to eye which is a serious matter as it would affect all users of this vital utility and endanger the country’s economy and retard economic and social progress.

As this vital organisation, the CEB, is the life blood of the country, for the well being of the people, and country, it should not be left entirely in the hands of politicians who force their will for whatever reason. It is therefore very necessary that President Mahinda Rajapaksa intervenes, goes to the root cause of this conflict and put matters right before a major confrontation takes place.

G. A. D. Sirimal,

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